OK, it's been awhile between posts. About 5 months, to be exact. It's not that I've had nothing to write about, but to say that the past few months were busy would be a huge understatement.
There have been a lot of changes in my life lately, and there are plenty more on the immediate horizon. Nearly two months ago (wow, has it really been that long?) I said goodbye to my job, my friends, and my two years in Switzerland to move home to DC. The decision to do so was made for many reasons and it was definitely the right thing for me, but that doesn't mean it was easy. Quite the contrary. Saying goodbye to Switzerland and especially to my friends really really sucked, and I really don't do goodbyes well. They had to deal with my ridiculously emotional self for far too long. Sorry about that. One day I will learn to better control my emotions. Maybe.
Coming back to your own country they always talk about reverse culture shock. Luckily, I have a wonderful network of family and friends here who have been so supportive, so although I miss being there, I haven't experienced too much of that. But there have been some things, ridiculous things, things I would have never thought of, that have made me realize that the line between what is Swiss and what is American has become more blurry and confusing that I thought.
Just yesterday I was getting ready to take out the trash when suddenly I froze, puzzled. Wait...I don't have the proper trash bags....but no, I don't need specific bags...or...wait, do I?? I stood there looking confused for a minute and eventually asked my new roommate. She looked at me with some amusement as she assured me that I could put anything in there and I didn't need a special trash bag.
Haha, <blushing>, of course. Yes I knew that.
Katie also just returned from two years abroad, Thailand for her. We got dinner last night and cracked ourselves up sharing the idiotic things that we have done, said, or been excited about since being home. So I know that it's not just me. I think that one of the biggest things that you learn living in another country is to not sweat the small stuff. You live in a culture that's not your own, so things are not always (or are rarely) going to go the way that you think they will. And I'm finding that as I readjust to living here, that holds true sometimes even more than it did there. You can't take yourself too seriously, and when things don't go according to plan, just laugh and know that it's going to be ok.
Kelly is an American teacher living in Switzerland and enjoying everything the country has to offer.