Friday, February 8, 2013

What the hell is going on?

I've never experienced reversed culture shock like this. Maybe it's because India was so different from home. Maybe it's because I'm not really home yet. A week traveling in India, a week in Thailand, a few weeks in New Orleans and then home to Omaha. Maybe this is more feeling unsettled than anything.

But still, it is a scary feeling. If I can't feel relaxed and content in my home country, then where can I? What does that make me?

I found myself yesterday, my first day back in the US, driving the wrong way down the street. Not to read into it too much, but that's the way I'm feeling now. Coming back feels like driving in the wrong direction. I felt (or I feel) that my life was India. My friends and my work and my routine. And now I've got to figure out a new routine and pick things back up with my friends here.

And then what? Europe and South Africa and elsewhere. Will I feel at home there or will I get to a place where I feel homeless?

To translate Paul Simon's song "Homeless" from Zulu, one lyric says "My heart! It is in pain; it is giving out!" That may be overemphasizing how I feel, but running on three hours of sleep, unable to eat from the bug I picked up from the Tokyo flight and leaving my heart with a man in New Delhi, I feel like my heart is giving out.

I feel homeless.

As the song continues in Zulu, "tonight we sleep on the cliff." Now I am on a cliff, but I don't know where jumping off will take me.

With a hundred friends and surrounded with love, I feel alone.

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