maybe you’ve felt this way before. you leave the country or just get out of your comfort zone for several weeks… at least a month… and you return unable to articulate how you are and what you’ve seen and experienced. it’s a frustrating feeling. i’ve had it several times before.
but i’m surprised to find that’s how i feel now too. i was gone just less than a month, and only 1.5 weeks of that was spent out of the country. the other two weeks were in sleepy-town, indiana. nothing that uncomfortable, right? i didn’t have to learn a new language. i hardly used the public transportation systems. i didn’t eat any outrageous food.
and yet i’ve grown a lot the past month. growing is good, but it makes the return a little awkward. in australia, i had some much needed down-time to process and feel. that was good. in indiana, i made several new close friends and strengthened a few older relationships. now i’m finding that in some ways, those friends know me better than my friends at home. at least parts of me… the parts that grew while i was away.
and it’s not like i want to sit my friends down and say, “okay, this is what’s changed about me.” i just want to be. and i can be. i mean, friends do grow and change and that’s all fine and good.
anyway, it just took me by surprise.
the pictures above are of the yfc world outreach crew (missionaries and staffers too), acting crazy as usual… and the girls of our crew, who are so super cool.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Try living out of the country for a full year… hmm, well I guess you’ll soon know how I felt many years ago… My story is a bit different– my mom whisked my sister and me away to Sweden (her maiden country). She stuck me in the Swedish school system, even though I knew barely one word of the language. It was supposed to be just a “summer vacation” but my parents were not getting along and she fooled my dad. In a court of law, they call that kidnapping… but since no one was charged.. well I digress. The point of my ramblings is that I have done some traveling in my time, and I acknowledge the “awkward feeling” you speak of, and I actually like it. After traveling, I too feel like I have learned and grown, and do my best to I share that feeling with others, and in the end I feel like I’ve helped those around me grow with my experiences. No, I don’t fancy myself some higher being, a father figure to all… In fact, I encourage those around me to travel and to share with me how they have grown. Then I learn from them as well. Ok, my soap box is about to break…