3:30 AM

Hang on, just hang on for a minute. 

I traveled over the Atlantic and I mapped out my thoughts in the clouds, and the dusty roads have still left some nice red stains on my feet. And I flew into Atlanta, and there were lines on the road and lights on the street, and I wanted to run as far from it as I could.

I am afraid of coasting, and how easily it comes to me here. I am afraid of becoming comfortable with my comfort, or becoming a slave to my instagram feed. These things do not bring me life. And I sat at the pool, and all that I could do was laugh, because of how quickly our horizons change & how slowly our heart takes to catch up.

Yesterday, I sat with a friend, indian-style on my kitchen counter, and she looked at me and understood. Years later, her heart still had not fully caught up, and she started to cry and I started to smile, because I knew she hadn’t lost it, and I didn’t want to lose it either.

I dug deep into the collective of wikipedia, my english teachers would strangle me. I searched “culture shock and re-entry” and these words bounced right off the page:

  • Some people manage to adapt to the aspects of the host culture they see as positive, while keeping some of their own and creating their unique blend. They have no major problems returning home or relocating elsewhere. This group can be thought to be somewhat cosmopolitan.
Cosmopolitan, I like the sound of that. Can that be me already? At 5:30 in the morning, I conducted a personal pep talk. I have woken up with the dawn these last few days, I blame jet lag but maybe I am just thirsty for the redemption in new mornings. I began to map out what aspects I loved about East Africa, and what I came up with was the importance of people. And you know what is crazy, there are people here too. 

One time I went to Salt Lake City, Utah on a road trip south. Salt Lake City is located in a valley, a permanent valley. But something tells me that they aren’t resentful of their lack of elevation, because they are surrounded by mountains, palatial and dignified mountains. Salt Lake City gets it. If we constantly lived on the mountain top, we would never appreciate the majesty of the mountains. 

So whether it’s a small bout of culture shock, or a deeper valley that seems nearly permanent, do not resent your position or your place in the story. Embrace where you are, because people will need you here and you will need the people here for this specific time. I am searching for that unique blend, and appreciating the valleys because there will certainly be more mountains ahead.

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