Someone asked me how I was doing today. I thought for a moment and then I said, "I actually am experiencing a few system failures." I've been struggling. I've been struggling with homesickness, with let-down, jet lag and with overwhelm. When you boil it all down, I think I have been having problems with re-entry.
I need to explain that the re-entry I am talking about is a different thing to let-down. Let down is what happens when you have been working really hard or being really involved in something and then it is over. Let down is that cold that you get at the beginning of your vacation. Re-entry is what has to happen when for whatever reason your life has been deeply and profoundly altered. Reentry is when you get home and you don't even recognize your furniture. Re-entry is when you look at your world and wonder how it can be the same when you feel so different. Let down is a pain in the ass. Re-entry can be a real bitch.
I don't want to sound down or depressed because I'm not! I've had the most wonderful, amazing time. But at the same time, it has felt strange moving back into my life. I have experienced this feeling before. I have experienced re-entry after funerals, and after my trip to Seattle. I have experienced re-entry after summer camp and when I flew home from England the first time. All of those experiences left me feeling different on a cellular level. How do you go back to normal when you don't feel normal any more?
My systems are slowly coming back on line. I am enjoying talking about the fun of the wedding. I am looking forward to our belated honeymoon. I am looking happily towards a future as a wife. I am beginning to understand that I need to work a little harder to keep those I love closer. All of these things are making the strangeness fade. Luckily, re-entry is always followed by a landing. It isn't always where you expected to be, but you are always a little wiser, a little more grateful and a little braver. If you are lucky, you are also a lot clearer about where else you are going and how you intend to get there.
(It's my birthday on Saturday! I'll be 34 years old. This will be my first year as a wife, too. Whew! This past year has helped me get that clarity of purpose. So I think that this next one is going to be about carrying out that purpose - wish me luck!)