Answering Questions

People ask: “What is it like to be back in the USA?” “How has your time in the States been?” “What do you miss most from US when you are away?”

Often times I resort to a 30 second, surface answer. Although that quick answer is true, I avoid the deep tension I feel. I think either: people don’t want to listen to that story, or friends/family don’t want to take the time to understand the complexities.

My excuses are selling both parties short.

In a conversation with a friend, and in another conversation with my sister, I was reminded that the tension in transition is universal…At the very least, Millennial:)

So here are some wrestlings with transition. In hopes that sharing them will be unifying, and honest, and cathartic:

  1. How do I fully engage in relationships when we both know I’m leaving? Diving deep into relationships is a JOYFUL thing! I thrive where I am, mostly because of the connections I have, or am developing, with people. However, the deeper we get into each other’s lives, the more painful the leaving; the more painful to move on without you.
  2. Being Present. What a double-edged sward! I am habitually engrossed in the place where I am…in this moment. Yes, it can be a gift, wielded to easily establish new roots and norms! It also leaves people and places behind. Those I am not with, can feel forgotten.
  3. Each time I give of myself, to a place/people, there is a cost. When transitions(leaving) occurs, the weight of that cost is grieving. Although I “pay for the cost” in grieving, I ultimately gain a treasure. The treasure is: a new friend, a deeper foundation, a better friend, a million memories. I’ve counted up the cost, and giving myself to relationships, no matter how long or short, is worth it.
  4. I am made of: dozens of countries, a few languages, hundreds of ethnic foods, a global community of friends, at least 3 homes, and other things
  5. I must grieve my losses well. If I do not, how will there be room to receive the next wave of blessings, friendships, experiences?
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