I am leaving for America very soon. So much is happening and so much needs to be done that it makes me want to stay in my apartment all day do nothing. It's happening really fast. But, at the same time, it's happening too slowly and I just want to rip the band-aid off like when I was a kid. I'm still working on a project for my job. Crazy that in the middle of packing and saying good bye I'm also typing up facts for a school publication. I'm sad. I'm really sad. The last time I left Africa, I confess, I was thrilled. I wanted to leave so much. This time is different. I will miss so much here a great deal. I love it here, love the people, love my friends and especially love the community that I've come to have here.
Yet, I'm happy. I'm of course looking forward to seeing family and friends again. I'm looking forward to being back in a culture that I understand, to not be constantly feeling like I have to be "on" or in some way trying to understand, fit in or work within the culture. I'm looking forward to the familiar. It's not that I love places like Starbucks and Target all that much, though I do like those places, it's that I'm used to those places. I know what to expect in those places. I'm looking forward to that.
But, having come back before, I realize that there will be things that I think I will understand and yet be overwhelmingly surprised at when confronted by them. When someone lives overseas, they return changed, no longer fitting in to their home culture and never having fit in to their host culture.
I'm overwhelmed at the prospect of starting a new job so quickly after returning from this one. I love this job, but think my new job will be great too. I hope I don't start any sort of comparison games with myself. Comparison steals joy quicker than most anything else.