The past three weeks or so have been a virtual wasteland here on Wandering Sasquatch. It’s not like I haven’t been thinking about what to write about or what random Sasquatch stories to share. It’s just that lately I have been… tired. Returning to the United States has left me feeling drained physically, emotionally, psychologically, and financially. I knew it would be hard to adjust back to life in the United States (even if it is only for a few months), but I never thought it would be as hard as it has been for me.
Now, Kim and I admittedly didn’t do everything the “right” way coming back to the US. We endured four days of travel, including five flights in three days and two consecutive nights sleeping in airports, just to get Stateside. And as bad as that was, things seemed to go downhill from there.
The day we arrived in Portland, with exhaustion and jetlag raging, we somehow thought it a good idea to go to the grocery store. Kim handled this surprisingly well, happy to be around a selection of vegetarian food other than rice and vegetables, but I was overwhelmed by the store. For the rest of my life I will never forget how I froze trying to decide what kind of yogurt to buy – and don’t even get me started on buying a beer.
The next day we attended a party. Just a little unwanted advice for people: do not, I repeat, DO NOT attend a party the day after you arrive in the country after being abroad for a year. Not only was I messed up because my internal clock was 10 hours ahead, but seeing so many friends at once overloaded my system. I spent the night either not being able to say a word to anyone or half-drunkenly ranting about everything from why Nepal is so great to why the Supreme Court has to (HAS TO!) strike down DOMA. There was nothing in between wallfly-mode and ranter-mode, as I couldn’t find an appropriate release for the overwhelmingness that I felt, so it came out in my most un-sociable traits.
The next two weeks were filled with meeting friends for dinners, coffees, lunches, happy hours, or any other excuse we could find for consuming the oh-so-good food and drink in Portland, a trip up to Seattle to see family and to pick up our 19-year old car, and back to Portland for more eating and drinking…umm, I mean seeing friends.
Then it was a drive across the country to our home for the summer. Seeing as this would be our third drive across the country in the middle of summer in a car that has no air conditioning, neither Kim nor I had much enthusiasm for the drive. Before arriving in the States, we had discussed taking up to two weeks to make the drive, taking our time and enjoying a road trip. That was before we arrived. A few hours after we started driving, we realized just how much we weren’t looking forward to the cross-continental excursion and decided to cut out the one stop we had planned and make it a 3-day, straight shot drive.
We have been back in Ohio now for a few days, which we have spent catching up with our families and playing with our dogs, and it has been really nice. Even though we have lived 2,400 miles away from our family for nearly a decade, being abroad made me feel separated from my family in a way I didn’t feel before. I don’t really know how to explain it, but I felt further away than just the distance between us.
All of this traveling and reuniting with friends and family over the past three weeks has left me drained. Every night I feel like I could sleep 14 hours and still be tired when I wake up. The constant movement, and catching up with people has left me exhausted – a good kind of exhausted, but exhausted all the same, and this exhaustion has taken a toll on my ability to keep up with this tiny blog. It’s like my body responds to this exhaustion by taking away my creativity first, thinking it takes up too much of my precious energy.
Kim and I are now at my parent’s house with desks set up in the basement and establishing our routine for the summer, discussing projects we want to explore and mapping out our future. (I’m choosing to ignore the feeling of entering the mid-thirties and being in my parent’s basement for now…) We’ve rested up, gotten our lives back in order and have been enjoying little luxuries like dishwashers and washing machines.
We might not be moving for a little while, but it feels like things are moving forward.