old habits die hard.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Breakfast isn't breakfast unless I'm sipping tea out of a tiny little glass hourglass, sitting on a small glass plate with a miniature spoon nearby. So that's exactly what I'm doing right now.

Old habits die hard, I suppose.

That goes for a lot of other things I've managed to become accustomed with over the past semester. Besides the small tea glasses, I've become a regular wearer of baby catchers. I am missing falafels and Turkish coffee. I can't stand hearing so much english. I miss being able to buy things in foreign currency. I miss talking with people who are actually interested in what is happening in the Middle East, let alone know anything about the current state of Israel and Palestine.

I was expecting this phase.

You know, after the whole "I'M-SO-EXCITED-TO-BE-HOME" phase wore off, and suddenly I'm alone. Without any of the people I spent 115 days with, without a new adventure to embark on everyday, without new information reaching my ears from the mouths of journalists, experts, etc. It all feels strangely...wrong.

And then there are the "dreaded questions."
The name of one of our exaggerated skits during our re-entry lectures, but also one that I've encountered too many times since being home.

You're home! How was it? What did you learn? What did you see? Where did you go? Wait, where were you again? How long was it? Were you safe? What was the coolest part? Who were you with? How long are you home? Did you have a good time? Did you do anything neat? Tell me a story. What did you eat? What did you drink? Did you "drink?" What did you buy? What was the best part? What was the worst part? Wow. What an experience.

Yes, I'm home. It was great. I learned a lot. I saw a lot. I went to a lot of places too. I was in Turkey for the semester. It was 4 months long. Yes, I was safe - although we couldn't get into Egypt. Cappadocia was probably the coolest part, but I need to tell you all about Asia Minor in order for you to understand. I was with 2 professors, 2 program assistants, and 21 other students. I'm home until I leave for camp, June 8th. I had an amazing time. I did a lot of neat stuff, like learning Turkish. Um...I have a lot of stories to choose from. Do you want anything specific? I ate everything. I love falafels. I drank a ton of tea, and coffee, and fresh squeezed juice. I didn't "drink." I bought a lot of cool stuff. I don't know if I can pick one "best part." I don't know if I can pick one "worst part." Yes, it was an amazing experience, but I'm glad to be home.

Or, the abridged version...

How was your trip?
It was great! A really awesome experience, but I'm glad to be home.


Since I've been home, I've talked to one person who asked me, "have you been okay readjusting to life back home?" Someone who genuinely wanted to know if I was doing okay through the re-entry process. One person who knew this would be incredibly hard, offered advice, and a prayer. One person who looked beyond the "trip" and to the hard weeks I would be trudging through over the course of this summer.


I'm tired of answering these questions already, and this is only the beginning. I'm going to be encountering these questions for who know how much longer, but if I've only been home for a week and I'm already sick of them...I don't know what I'm going to do when I get back to school in the fall and this is all I get to answer for a solid month.

BAH.

I've been hiding out in my house for the past week - for all of those who really want to see me and catch up, I apologize. I need some time to figure out my life this summer and process exactly what I did over the course of last semester. Not to mention, I've been catching up on all my cable shows I missed over the course of the last four months as well as scrapbooking my way through 200 photos into one collective binder.

I'll be out and about soon, but for the most part, I've been internally processing...something I've been putting off for a while, and now I have the time and space to do so, so I'm taking advantage of it. Perhaps being alone is something I need right now, and although I still feel emotionally conflicted about a lot of things (being home one of them), I know I'm going to be okay.

Summer is off to a very interesting start.

Respectfully submitted,
Leah

2 comments

  1. This brought back a lot of memories-"how was your trip?" "It was great! (To actually answer that question would take at the very least about a solid week of sitting down, showing pictures, telling stories, and trying to verbally process the huge emotional and spiritual growth that I'm still dealing with, but since we don't have a week, I'll just stick with 'it was great.')
    I remember just how frustrating it was to deal with the fact that you can never really explain to people just what it was like, or put into words just how much the experience has changed you. I hope you got some time to start processing things with people who were with you all semester, and if not, I really hope you are able to do that in the fall.

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  2. Don't worry about it. Come on out to Boston and let your brother Jared show you a grand ol' time and forget all about those stupid questions.

    Except from Steve Musson. He's gonna ask you a bunch of questions.

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