This might be one of the more difficult posts to begin...
I've been home for a little over a month now and honestly Europe is starting to feel like a dream. When I first came home everything here was new but familiar, the stores, my old clothes, my friends, my room, but now it feels as if I never left. The longer I'm back the farther the past year seems to be. It's like I'm looking through a telescope back at my life and my year abroad is just a speck of dust on the lens. I'm so glad that I made a photo book that I can look in to make sure that I remember those unbelievable "I can't believe I did that" moments.
Now that I'm job searching and back with "the rents" I often get a little down on myself when I look at my peers who have jobs and have left the nest. I have to remember that they had an extra year to find a job and get ahead on the "American dream" lifestyle I'm so craving at this point in my life. The hardest part is to remember that I took that time to see a bit of the world and am so much better for it! I have to remember to look up and see those faces of my Europe friends smiling back at me from behind a picture frame or to see that girl in the beret who spoke French and could connect with people from any culture. I have to remind myself that where I am in my life now might feel farther behind than I'd like but that I am truly years ahead in experience.
I have gone through a bit of culture shock upon my return. When I first got back I was so unbelievably good at eavesdropping!!! I could understand everyone and had to get used to skipping my usual step of ok... what language or accent is that. I had a funny experience in Target when I was trying to figure out what language this one woman was speaking until I listened close enough to hear that it was just "ghetto" talk. I've also noticed how much of a hurry everyone is in. When you have to take public transportation you get into a I'll get there when I get there mentality. I get so frustrated when people are tailgating me or someone ahead of me. Honestly, tailgating only makes people nervous and anxious. There is no point to it except to prove how much of a jerk you are.
Tomorrow I'm going on my first trip since I've been home! I'm driving 10 - 11 hours down to the Outer Banks, North Carolina for a week at the beach! I'm pretty excited about it, it will certainly be different though, not having a luggage restriction or having to lug things onto 3 different forms of transportation to get to the airport. Also, the only language change might just be a bit of a southern accent. I've also noticed how much more people say to cashiers or waiters when they can speak the same language. No wonder I could never pass for fluent... :-(
So, that's a little update of the change! I'm currently a nanny (go figure) until I find a real job. There will be a blog to follow this one, but don't worry, I'll keep you informed! ;-)