It's been a while now, hasn't it?
Upon arrival in the US of A and more forcefully, school, I haven't been able to sit down and write my feelings in my state of Post-Study-Abroad Depression and ultimately what I've been doing in the past 3 months for so long, blogging has been in the back of my mind. In front of that being school,school play, homework/studying, work, sleep, choir, learning to drive, football games, and next to no downtime. So, in other words, the state of the union, that union being me, myself, and I, is straight up rough.
You know when you land an airplane and you brace yourself for impact and when you hit the ground, you skid a couple of times uncomfortably, hold your breath, and suddenly jolt forward? I've been stuck in the "skid uncomfortably at 300 mph on a gravel surface" since the end of August, lets say.
To leave what seemed like a practically perfect life and to come back to the blunt reality where all you literally do is think back to that life, it will SUCK. FLAT OUT SUCK. Accordingly, if you left as a way to get away from your reality to open yourself up to the actual world and find out more about yourself, it will suck even more. Little things will remind you of the little things you loved back where you were. Songs remind you of nights you spent with friends, singing on a balcony or whispering through classes in deep conversation. You'll think you see someone you saw everyday abroad, until it hits you in those painful seconds later that you're in the wrong country. Those rare moments you're able to speak your host language, you realize how much harder it's gotten to grasp the grammar again and your fluency has went from sharp to slumped. You're easily stopped in your tracks with memories that overwhelm you with joy or sadness or anxiety or regret or guilt until you can step back into reality and remember that you have no control over anything you did there. You're always stuck wondering what people are doing without you in your host country. Who thinks about you every day, who hasn't thought about you since the day you left, who truly misses you and who just puts on a show, who is nervous to talk to you for fear of making everything more painful than it really is, who cares or doesn't care. It's all a guessing game anymore because nothing is ever face to face now, it's all virtual. What I believe is one of the very downfalls of my generation is the only connecting link I have between myself and the life I once lived but can't reopen. The "feels" will attack at any moment in any degree, in any emotion.
The reality of the situation is that until you get yourself back there to stay or figure out how you want "the feels" to impact your future or your reality, Your year abroad was basically a free year and if you don't hit the ground running, and keep running, you'll fall and not be able to get back up. In your host country you didn't have a job, much schoolwork, a car, or any other "normalities" that drive teenagers up the wall in the USA. And now, you can't escape this life. You have no deadline to say "ah whatever, I'm leaving here in ____days anyways". The reality is, you're stuck.
Depressing, isn't it?
Really, I'm not as dark as a person as I sometimes portray to be. When you get down to the gritty details of everything I normally don't think about (but make one hell of a blogpost), it's harsh. Now, back to my not-so-terminally-depressing reality.
About 2 months ago, I got both my driver's permit and a job as a cashier at a local supermarket on the same day. At the end of August, school started, I rejoined my community choir, I got accepted into the fall play Sherlock Holmes as a batty woman named Gertie who makes bombs and may or may not be schizophrenic, I became the announcer for the school marching band for football games every Friday, and on top of that being newly 17 and having schoolwork, sleep, and a social life all to keep semi-balanced. I've also become an avid napper in the days I have nothing else to do (only Thursday nights).
That's all I have for now, and I hope it won't be another 3 months until we speak again, but in all honesty, who knows.
AFS Returnee Camp
2 years ago