Monday, August 25, 2014

Little Things I Forgot

**Written 8/23/14**

Flying over Iceland

As soon as the plane landed in Chicago I got this strange feeling inside. I was a stranger, an outsider, but also I knew I would blend in so seamlessly. I was afraid to slide back into my old life without a fight, to just melt into the crowd and rejoin the army mechanically following the predetermined  socially acceptable path into a future of baby showers and 401Ks. I had the overwhelming urge to run, to hide, to just curl up into a ball, shut my eyes and ears and not let any of this stuff leach into me. But of course I couldn't do that, so I pressed forward, with the song lyrics ringing in my head "I'm not afraid of anything, I've got the whole world in front of me", trying to believe them.
Thankfully, I go to Charlottesville tomorrow and school starts Tuesday so I don't have much down time to contemplate my return and likely bawl my eyes out. Keeping such a tight, busy schedule keeps my mind off of all the things I'm missing and the nagging feeling that I'm somehow out of place here.

Anyway, I have to get back to packing for school, but here is a kind of funny list of things I had forgotten about America or things that kind of shocked me coming back Stateside

  1. Those skinny, flippy light switches. In Russia, almost all the light switches look like this:
  2. Bugs in the house. My apartment very occasionally had tiny rolly polly things, but I probably saw three spiders my entire time in Russia.
  4. Drinking tap water! I wished for this luxury every single day abroad. 
  5. Riding in automatic vehicles! I had forgotten there was an alternative to the herky-jerky life of manual transmission. 
  6. DRIVING <3 
  7. American money is so flat and monochrome 
  8. Everyone sounds like me
  9. HUGE cups...and to-go cups in general
    Seriously, that's like 30 oz
  10. People eating full meals in public/on the go
  11. People joke and chat with total strangers
  12. I spent so long being able to think elaborately but only being able to communicate in short, awkward stutters that I got used to words not really being that helpful. Now I'm shocked that I can communicate so freely and I don't need to plan out my sentences before speaking!
  13. Air conditioner in the house
  14. HUGE comfortable bed with fluffy down comforter and pillows
    Zuko waking me up on my cloud-bed
  15. People wearing shoes inside the house
  16. A totally stocked fridge, freezer, and pantry
  17. Insane water pressure in the shower
  18. Everyone dressed so casually 
  19. My mom's house is enormous. How can we take up this much space? Also- 90% of the stuff in my room is complete junk that I just want to disappear and never see again before it inevitably reintegrates itself into my overstuffed, over stimulated, material based life. 

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