Thursday, June 17, 2010
The Calm After the Storm
2 weeks ago, I was just leaving Lusaka. In a weird way, it feels like both yesterday and a lifetime ago. I've been on three continents and in three different cultures in the past two weeks. My head is spinning...for more reasons than one. Let's just say it was a busy Spring.
The end of my time in Zambia came abruptly due to some health issues. I decided to head home on my original plane ticket of June 3 instead of extending my stay through August, as originally planned. I was disappointed, but also felt like it was time to go for my emotional and physical well-being.
The last few weeks brought an amazing trip through Tanzania and Zanzibar with my flatmate Michelle (check out my face book pictures!) In addition, I was able to say goodbye to my co-workers through a number of final celebrations and my friends with a Korean karaoke night. In my last few days, I packed up, left an entire suitcase of personal items at the flat, and departed from Lusaka with two (overweight) suitcases, a heavy bottle of Amaruela and a heavier heart.
Back in Michigan, I chowed down at the first fast food restaurant I could find (thank God for Wendy's) and immediately began to see everyone I had ever met from 6am to midnight. I started by causing inordinate amounts of trouble with my friends at a weekend wedding and the fun never ended. It felt so good to be surrounded by comfort, predictability and people who loved me. I drove fast, delighted in food samples and drinking fountains, and went shopping nearly every day. It was a necessary week of indulgence and love.
Just a few days ago, I boarded the plane for Vienna. After the shortest and most WONDERFUL flight of all time, (thank you very much, Olivier) I arrived to my sister's empty flat and the decompression began. I've spent most of my time running through the Belvedere gardens, watching TV, journaling, reading and taking care of myself. Am I bored? Not at all. It's been ages since I have been alone in a safe space and I've got loads of things to work through.
It's been one year since I was in Vienna for Chanda and Olivier's wedding and I can't believe how much things have changed, how much I've changed. Sometimes that is scary, at others it is invigorating. And that is exactly why I am back here, spending my summer doing basically nothing. I desperately need SPACE. Space to breathe, think, and process what went wrong. Space to forgive myself for mistakes that I made. Space to figure out what the next step is in my career and in relationships. Space to reconnect to the person I am and to discover the person that I want to be. It's a lofty goal for the summer, but I need to start the journey somewhere. The storm ended; time to pick up the pieces, salvage what I can and start new.