Now I usually do 2 posts in a day but today is an exception because I’m at mom and dad’s (who have internet) and I’m working the next few days so I’ll be preoccupied.
A few weeks ago, I posted about how I thought that re-entry was making me a horrible person. And it was really raw for me. I still can’t go back and read it. That post is partly why I’ve been doing just book reviews. I mean, not much is going on in my life, but re-entry is very personal to me. And I’ve been dealing with it a lot since I’ve come back. But I’ve been dealing okay. It helps I’m not living with mom and dad. I have my own space. If I haven’t mentioned before, I’m living over at our other farm. It’s a little big for me but it works. Anyway. I have my own space and can come see my parents and my brother’s family (who have a house on the home place) whenever I want. I also feel like I can come and go as I please more. I feel like I don’t have to answer to anyone. It also lets me deal with things better. I’m journaling more which I wasn’t doing at mom and dad’s because I always felt like I was being intruded on. Living alone is a good thing.
So overall, I don’t feel overly overwhelmed by American culture anymore. Well, with the exception of yesterday. I went to the chiropractor yesterday and it’s a good thing because I was really out of whack and my knee was weird, which affected my calf. So it’s nice to feel normal and not have walking be a pain and sleep without waking up because I randomly hurt. Anyway, I met up with a friend of mine at one of the colleges in Bismarck, because there’s 4, to return a book she lent me on re-entry. This friend spent 2 years in China with Cru and now is working with Cru at Bismarck State College. So we’re sitting at the Student Union, which has changed drastically since we went there, and we were just catching up and talking about re-entry. We had this discussion about how difficult it is. We came to the conclusion that it’s never easy, it’s just different. Then at the end, before I left, she mentioned that she recently went back to a journal entry she wrote after she got back from China and how she struggled with God and the struggle has gotten more intense since then. I totally relate. I feel like it’s been underlying since I got back. I even journaled about it last night. After I left, I went to eat and then I went grocery shopping. Since I’ve been back, I haven’t had too much trouble with shopping. Except with toilet paper. Toilet paper has been a challenge for me…..to buy. I still know how to wipe my bottom. But I’m shopping and I’m trying to find something and I’m just frustrating because even though there’s signs, I can’t find this thing that mom asked me to pick up. So that was frustrating.
Then the check out. This is the major issue. In Hungary, I’d have to carry back my groceries back to the Bazis, where I was living. So I never bought any more than I could carry. I got my groceries on the conveyer belt and there was someone in front of me and I look down and I panicked because I couldn’t carry all of it. It took a lot of mental talking down to stop me thinking like that. Then they bag and put the bags back in the cart for me. Which is great. It is. It’s a service that’s so beneficial but it made me uncomfortable. What do I do with my hands? What do I do with my face? Do I make small talk with the cashier? Because all my cashiers in Hungary knew I was American or at least not American. And they’re used to American teachers from the nearby school. So they know to keep the conversation to a minimum. But I got out okay. No tears, but I wanted to cry. Actually I almost did on my way home. I felt very convicted about how these people are bagging my groceries and putting them in my cart, when I am fully capable of doing it myself. It’s a minor thing but something that just bothered me. The rest of the day yesterday, I felt misplaced. But I’m better today.
And before yesterday, with yesterday included, I’ve put on a front. Being similar to how I was. Making jokes, being sarcastic but there’s a large part of me that isn’t like that anymore. It’s how it is. I will always have moments that I don’t feel American. Like I don’t belong anywhere. It was my new normal. As I almost typed, it’s my ‘nermal’. I could also do a series on how I feel misunderstood and the things I feel misunderstood about, but it doesn’t feel right to do now. I feel like it’s something that I need to heal from more or get more comfortable with myself before I do. So maybe eventually.