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Published: July 28th 2010
I had dinner with a friend tonight who expressed the sentiment that she had been hoping for a follow-up "we're home!" sort of blog, and it got me thinking. Why haven't we written anything else? What is there to say? How do we even begin to describe the feelings of coming back to the US after a year away?
We returned to Seattle on Tuesday, July 6th. As of today, we've been 'home' for exactly three weeks, though home is a pretty loose term these days. I'm not even sure what it really means after a year of calling a foreign land home. Most days, it simply feels as though the last eleven months were a dream. It feels surreal. I find myself referring to China stories often, and watch as friends eyes glaze over- not necessarily with boredom (though probably a bit) but more just because I know they don't really understand what I'm talking about. How can they? I can't even put our experiences into words, much less make them into a tangible experience for someone else. I find myself getting weirded out by the smallest things- hearing an overwhelming amount of English around me, needing to drive around the corner to go to the store, Americans excessive loudness in public places...even the way people look over here. It's as if I forgot everything about my own culture in eleven months and am having to relearn how to act, while at the same time feel as though I've never left. Where do I fit in anymore? I have no house keys, I'm having to train myself to stop responding to people in Chinese and sometimes I'm tempted to push the old lady next to me so that I can get to the front of the line. Hopefully this won't be the case forever. 😊
We've spent the last three glorious weeks becoming reacquainted with friends, family and the Pacific Northwest. Nobody seems to have forgotten us (ie our young niece and nephew!), though friendships have definitely changed. One of the hardest life lessons to learn is the simple fact that life continues to go on for everyone, regardless of your presence. It's a difficult adjustment, but one that we had to learn when we first moved down to Oregon after University while most of our friends were still in Northern Washington, so we have a bit of a leg up on most people with the learning curve.
We're patiently waiting to feel 'settled' again, something that likely won't happen until sometime in September. We're bouncing around between Martin's parents house, my parents house and friends' houses in Seattle & Portland until we move to Eastern Washington on August 26th. Though I love all the friend and family time, we both cannot wait to have our own space again...especially one that isn't just a dorm room. 😊
We'll likely continue this blog after the move, so look for updates about our life in Spokane. Thanks to everyone who kept up with the blog this year, whether you read every entry diligently or just checked in once in awhile. It helped to have comments and love from back home, and it was amazing to see a lot of you at our welcome home party a few weeks ago. We couldn't have made it this year without the support of family and friends, so thanks and love to all of you.
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