Back in the U.S.A.

Hello friends, family, and other readers.  It’s been a long time since my last entry, but the past weeks have been consummed with goodbye visits, packing, and finally, moving back to the States.  I have to break the sad news- the “euromode” phase of my life is now over.  For the time being.

I arrived in Bosoton last Friday night, and am now at my mother’s house in Connecticut, getting used to American life again.  But not all is sad- it’s been wonderful to see my family after a year, and a trip tomorrow to NYC to visit friends and go apartment/job hunting is in order.  I can eat hamburgers with no remorse, ride in a car when it’s raining (a huge luxury), and partake in the very spirted American Christmas season.  I can shop at J. Crew again, and eat my Mom’s buttery scrambled eggs.  I can explore Manhattan like it’s a brand new city, while simultaneously visiting friends I’ve known for years.

Yet I find there is a hole inside me, that grows deeper daily.  I’ve left behind a family I’d grown extremely close to, and I’ve left behind the love of my life.  I’ve left behind adventure and bicycles, new friends and easy, European living (and also strict, dinner table manners).  I know I should be thrilled about my new New York City life, but it seems so different and complicated, compared to the simple living I have learned to enjoy in Holland (never thought I’d say that..)  The biggest question that faces me, is how can I take all the lessons I’ve learned abroad, and incorporate them into my new life?  I feel that I have changed in a million ways, and all those meaningful molments must not go to waste.

So I ask you, reader, to help me.  Have you ever gone through a major change in your life, and how did you incorporate the old, to strongly build “the new you?”  I know change is good, but for some reason, it’s taking longer than usual for me to adjust. xx Helen Anne




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3 responses to “Back in the U.S.A.

  1. Hi Helen, When I moved back home after two years on Guam I too experienced a bit of culture shock. We’ll have to talk about it when we meet up. Do tell me more about strict dinner table manners – I’m all eyes and ears! see you soon. love, auntie

  2. Megan McCormick

    When I came back from Cuba I couldn’t find meaning in all of the American culture that I used to find so important. All of the consumerism and fast-paced nothingness made me feel alienated and betrayed in a way. It took a long time, but in the months that followed I learned to reconcile my new-found knowledge with the American culture I’ve always known. I have a different perspective on things that I never would have, and can share it with others.

    The problem with finding a new home is that you’re always somewhere between the new and the old, but that allows the opportunity to create a whole new foundation to support both of them. It’s not easy, but it’s certainly worthwhile and invaluable in the quest to create your own self.

    • Megan! You couldn’t have explained it better- this is exactly how I feel. I sense an emptiness in American life that I’ve never felt before. I can envision this moment in the movie “Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona,” when Vicky is sitting at dinner with her fiance and another American couple, and the American couple is only conversing about material things, the huge house they are building, etc. Vicky finds the conversation meaningless, and can only think of her romantic and emotionally fulfilling night with Juan Antonio. When the movie ends, she has to face the fact that she is going back to that “empty” world.. and her emotionally charged romance with the people and culture of Spain is over. I guess all things come to an end eventually, and it’s how we recover and move on, that counts. Thanks for sharing Megan!

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