so being home has been an adjustment. i have to say that it's gone smoother than i thought it would for me, emotionally. i haven't felt it a challenge, so far, to hold onto the things i've seen and learned on this trip. but there have been a few things that have felt a bit strange.
when we first got back it felt sort of like the trip had never happened and this was overwhelmingly sad for me. it was as if we landed just back where we had left and gone back to a life so similar to the one we had left that it just felt, in my heart, like the last fourteen months disappeared. i feel like getting a little more settled has actually helped this. as i can see more of the differences in myself and in my relationship and even a little bit in my surroundings, the influence of this trip becomes clear and feels more real. the shock of return - like jumping into cold water - is fading and i can merge this life with that life and have it all feel like my own. which, of course, it is.
so, we were gone for a certain amount of time - 14 months. but i think that this time passed far more slowly for me than it did for my family and friends. it makes sense. i ran around a lot more and saw so many many things. and life is just slower without routine. so returning and catching up with everyone has felt a bit like time travel. i feel sort of like i went back in time - or like i had gone forward in time - or maybe just like time moved differently for me. it's an odd feeling. it's ok. i don't know how else to describe this feeling. i just feel like a time traveler. luckily i love science fiction.
(as an aside - read the newbery winner from this past year - just do it! it's called "when you reach me" and is by stead. especially if you love "a wrinkle in time" or maybe also if you love "the time traveler's wife" but really in general. i read "when you reach me" just about as soon as i got home and it was perfect.)
the pace of things is a huge adjustment. this life we all live is tiring. having a list of things that need to be done, places to go, people to see, tasks to achieve...this is new for us. it's familiar, but unfamiliar. it's been a long time. our life until two weeks ago was entirely up to us minute by minute day by day month by month. we didn't have bills. we didn't have chores. ian and i were together virtually 24/7 and our decisions were all made as a team, down to what we were going to eat for every meal and which way we were going to turn at every street corner. now ian is at work and he is tired. and i am trying to pull our lives together (house, job, car, doctors, stuff, immigration for green card etc etc etc) and i am tired. we have so many ideas and so many dreams and plans and aren't quite sure how to fit them in. but it's all a work in progress.
this is not meant to read as a list of complaints about this beautiful life. it's just a description of some of the big changes and more complicated feelings that i am going through. it'll be interesting to see how i feel in two weeks or in two months. or in two years, for that matter. in the meantime i have loved seeing everybody, i have fallen in love with san francisco again, i have made fresh starts with people, and i have been able to apply some of the lessons i've learned in that great wide world to a life here in my little city. i expect more goodness to come.