I am home. Well I am back in Virginia. Its familiar and yet unfamiliar at the same time. I of course remember my home, my mother hasn’t moved but things are different. But there are so many things that have changed here in my home, and my brain is struggling to take my memories and process the changes. There are a million little things like the back porch being gone (and replaced with stone) and the kitchen having new appliances (which I don’t even know how to use) and the new beverages that didn’t even exist when I left the US in the fridge.
I’ve been back for enough days I’ve lost count and already I am itching to go back. Somehow it doesn’t really feel real here yet. I spent the better part of the first two days back parked (more or less) on my basement couch and I keep expecting my cat, Ali, to come in and give me a look for daring to be on her couch, but then I remember she’s dead (she died some months ago).
These moments are somewhat disconcerting – the moments where my memories and the realities in front of me are in contrast. I don’t know that I have ever felt these kinds of disconnected visions in my mind of these places and things, and then the actual visual of these very same things in front of me, but different in reality than in my mind’s eye.
I am also more tired than expected and maybe this is contributing to me seeming to be constantly on the precipice of emotion – either anger or tears. It seems to be just really raw and also somehow subdued. I am grieving, I feel like I have nothing to say, I feel like I am a shell of a person, but also overflowing with tears. Anything sets me off and then afterwards and before, there is just an emptiness.
When I was at the airport in Moldova, early the morning after I left my final dinner, with host families and others, I literally could not stop crying. I was crying so much, I couldn’t even stop as I ordered waters at the counter in the airport.
I don’t know if it is or was the exhaustion, but I could not stop. I think I spent so much of the vacation after leaving just trying to tamp it down and now I don’t know that I can even get to it, maybe after some sleep and some more interaction with people who aren’t my Mom, Dad or Paden it will seem more real. I just hope I can get to a point where I am happy to be back in Virginia.