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The Year of My Discontent

I’m no John Steinbeck.

Our family has in the States for a year now. Sometimes that year feels immeasurably long, while other times I cannot comprehend how this length of time averted me.

This has been a difficult year. We reintegrated and have been in a constant reverse-culture shock ever since. Honestly, it is so hard to live in America after living somewhere else for so long. You may think me crazy or snobbish, but things that Americans do without a second thought make me sick-hearted. The amount of waste, the amount of money being thrown around to impress people that you don’t know or like, the quest for bigger, better, and beyond, and finally the apparent absence of morality among this country’s citizens has me reeling. For the most part, I cannot relate to the people around me.

Thankfully, I spend my days with my kids. That at least brings me some measure of comfort. Homeschooling them turned out to be the right thing to do. Also the fact that we can drive to see our family. That, too, is a positive. But I thought things would “feel” different. In reality, some of things are not different at all. We literally could be living on the other side of the world.Excitement. Interesting. Adventure. Those are what I crave. Not the mundane and mediocrity. I can do that anywhere.

But what about day-to-day, moment-to-moment living? Sometimes I feel that I’m being suffocated by the garbage around me. Or maybe I just have too much room to breathe. Can that be?

I miss Crete. I miss my friends. I miss having friends. I miss the water and beach bum living. I miss the sand between my toes and wearing a bikini. I miss being able to wear flip flops, a tank top, and shorts without feeling like I’m insulting everyone around me.

I also miss not being weighed down by all the animals we currently have. Hey let’s go to the Grand Canyon. Oh wait, we can’t. Hey, how about a couple of days  . . . nope. Any more than a few hours and it isn’t going to happen. Good grief. Not a surprise – just a reality. I just can’t do anything that I want to do, because I have so many stink in’ animals. Sure, I wanted chickens. But not a rabbit, hamster, and puppy. Less is more in my book.

Very, very stressful.

I am “home,” yet this place feels like a temporary stopping point. Oh, I know where the problem lies. It lies within my own mind. That is my real prison. Why can I not change my attitude? Or better yet, why do I not want to?God what do you want me to do? Am I not doing it?

The pieces are all right, just not in the correct order.

I have been changed by our time oversees. Now, I’m just trying to find out where I belong.


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