Sunday, October 21, 2012

Adjusting Back to America

Coming home is definitively an adjustment. Seeing all of these people you love, but aren't used to seeing; and not seeing all the people you've come to love and are used to seeing is a weird feeling. It was weird to come back and immediately have to get back to life. Hal started school less than 2 weeks after we got home, and that meant I had to find a job. It was hard to have to face such big things right away, they had seemed so far away while we were in Cambodia.

There are some things that are really hard about adjusting back to the life of luxury and wonderousness that America seems when you're living in a third world country. One thing that's hard to overcome is a sense of entitlement. When you're living in poverty in a tiny village you know you're going to go without things and you dream about all of the things you can have when you get back to America. So it's hard not to expect to just have everything your heart desires once your back. It's hard not to want everything when you see all of this amazingness you haven't had access to for so long.You forget that you still have to sacrifice, especially for the sake of your budget.

When we were first home it was totally over whelming there were so many people to see and things to do, and places to see. There was just so much stuff everywhere. Stuff in the stores, in the houses, in the closets, in the car. There were just so many options it was hard to choose. Sticker shock was intense. I'm sure people got tired of hearing "In Cambodia I could get this for $1!"

It's hard when people ask you about serving in the Peace Corps. Either you say it's good and that's the end, or you'll end up talking their ear off forever. I guess I'm kind of reserved about talking about it in real life because I feel like people will get bored of my stories from Cambodia. It's just hard to explain to someone in any way for them to understand what Cambodia and Peace Corps was like.

We have our own place for the first time in a year, and it made me realize how much I value having my own space. Many thanks to our amazing friends and family who gave us so many things and helped us get settled into our own place. Without all of you our apartment would pretty much be empty and it would be a sad place to come home to. Many thanks to our readjustment allowance which paid for our rent until I got a job, and which furnished our house thanks to ikea and craigslist. It is such a wonderful place to come home to, and that's my favorite part of being back.

I think it will still take time for it to feel like we're here in America permanently, but we're slowly getting used to life back in the states. Hopefully we've brought the good of our experiences back with us. As Hal said, he brought the "Buddhist Zen" back with him, especially on the freeway. That's one of the hardest parts, letting go of the funny things you say and do in Cambodia, but are rather inappropriate in America. It's hard to let go of those things, because it feels like you're losing parts of Cambodia. I guess it's really all about just finding that balance of taking the best of both countries and mushing them into what you love best.


Mr Lonely said...

visiting here with a smile. take care.. have a nice day ~ =)

Regards, (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

I can't even imagine what that must be like... I guess just take it one day at a time and eventually it'll feel normal again.

Rolled Up Pretty said...

That is SO cool you guys did that! Welcome home! :)

Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

Thinking of you almost daily girl. I somewhat understand what you're going through!! :)


Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

I wondered how you were doing with adjusting back to being in the states. I've heard a few people say it's really hard because I know someone who got sent to south Africa for their peace corps experience. I know it's probably hard but at least you've got heating and air now!

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