We’re back in California!
We’ve been back for roughly 5 days now, and jet-lag is finally deciding to start lifting it’s hold on us. Jet-lag is obviously a lot more than just sleep deprivation, but sleep schedules have a LOT to do with it. Whether that means someone is wandering around at 3am or someone else is sleeping in until 10am, it’s taken it’s toll on us all.
One of the best ways I can think of describing it, is through an episode of ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show.’ For those of you who haven’t watched the show, there’s an episode called ‘100 Terrible Hours’ (which I highly recommend) where Rob has to stay awake for 100 hours. Needless to say he goes a little loopy, and we as a family have always seen that as an accurate representation of jet-lag.
On top of all of that though, we have a lot to think about. A lot to process, and a lot to transition back into. It sounds silly to those who know we’ve lived here our whole lives. Why would we need to transition back? We weren’t gone that long, we were back often enough, so what could we possibly have to get used to again?
Well I’ve been living with an entirely different mindset. I’m used to running across the street in-between cars, I’m used to nothing being set in stone, to anything and everything changing at a moment’s notice.
I’ve been living one way for almost 2 years now. Sure I’ve been back here during that period, but I’ve never left that mindset. Because each visit back was just that. A visit.
A visit that was usually due to Chinese students coming with us for a camp or something. So I always had China in the back of my mind. China was always my main mindset.
Now I’m back in California. For good. I have a whole other mindset to get back into. One I may have been familiar with once, but also one that desperately needs to be taken down from the attic and dusted off.
It’s hard for people who haven’t lived the past years the way we have to understand it. They don’t know why we need time to just process everything that’s happened. Because for them, life didn’t change. We’re expected to tell a few funny stories about some food we tried and then just go back to “normal” everyday life. Sorry, but that’s not quite how it works.
I’m not trying to make this dramatic. I’m not trying to make people pity us or treat us like we’re special or something. We simply did something that we were told to do. And like we knew it would, it came with trials and plot twists we never could have imagined.
Now I’m sitting here in a comfy chair, I can go get a glass of ice water if I want, I don’t have to worry about the internet connection, I can have the window open and breathe fresh air without dirt flying in, or smelling pollution. And I still can’t understand how I went from all of that being my norm to this. This world that I’m trying to accept as my norm again. Trying to make it my norm again.
Which brings me to the next step. We’re leaving. We’re packing up our van with food, backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, and we’re going. Right now as you’re reading this, we’re more than likely on the road already. There’s some people we’ve got to meet with and they just so happen to be sprinkled up the coast. So that’s where we’re going. We’re going to see some new places, take lots of pictures I’m sure, and along the way take some time to remember all we did. Why we did it, and to prepare ourselves for this new chapter.
For whatever is coming next.
So continue to stick around, I can guarantee this is about to get really good.