At some point, you accept that this is the new normal. You stop thinking about going to Target and instead think of Nakumatt, where there is an elephant statue outside that you eventually forget about too. You stop craving Ben and Jerry’s and learn to like avocados. You’re no longer surprised when the electricity goes off, and when the water pressure in the shower gets low you mentally calculate how many days you can go without needing another one. The time difference becomes normal. You spend the first 8 or 9 hours of every day with very few messages, and then gradually say hello to your parents, your family, and eventually your friends as you finish your day at work.
You stop converting shillings to dollars every time you shop. You get used to the sounds of a foreign language at work, at the gym, on the street. You stop thinking that everyone is talking about you. You acknowledge that every one is living a normal life. They are home. You are home, too.
You drive on the other side of the road without thinking about it. Day by day by day, your expectations of the world around you change. You settle in. You have friends. You have a boyfriend. You stop reporting on every detail of your new life because, well, it just feels like life now.
You make plans for your trip home like you’re planning a vacation to a foreign country because you somehow are. You think about packing your favorite juice, your new favorite snacks… and you forget that just six months ago you were doing the same thing to come here.
You are comfortable. You have routines. You have people in your life who recognize you when you go places. You have YOUR people, YOUR places… the places where you leave your fingerprints day after day.
Somehow you never imagined hat you would settle here. When you moved, nothing seemed clear. There was May 25 – moving day – and then a blank canvas. No plans.
But here you are in your new home, feeling somehow oddly at home in ways that you never expected. Thankful, yes, to be going “home” to America for the first time in six months, but also sad to be leaving home here. Leaving home to come home….
As mentioned above, this is the price you pay for the richness of loving people all over the world. So with that, it’s time to go home. ❤