I constantly remind myself that things will be different when I go home. It almost feels like I just hit a pause button; like time in the US hasn't moved, and it's all relative to time here. However, I know that's not true, and life has been speeding along like usual. A lot has happened in the States since I've been gone. Obama was elected President, the economy crashed and burned, my dad is looking for work, my brother became a Rev. (!), a friend was diagnosed with leukemia, treated, and now healthy, Dan's father had a second brain surgery, countless friends have been engaged, married (or both in a few short months), and many friends are expecting children, or have had children. Some of my friends have announced pregnancy, carried the baby, and had the baby since I've been here. Things are static nowhere. So much as changed, and I am so excited to go home and see it all for myself.
On the other hand, I have changed incredibly. From little, silly habitual changes, to deep, personal changes in my heart. For example, I am a total wine-drinker now, and every social function I attend (especially ones with my church friends!), I bring a bottle of wine. I have made my bed everyday but one since I've been here (somewhere in the Chicago suburbs my mom is having a heart attack). I also have learned to listen to myself better, and I know very well when I need quiet time and when I need social time. I have learned to accept parts of my personality that I always tried to disown. I have spent time with God, and fallen more deeply in love with Him than I ever have before. I also am pretty conversationally fluent in French, enough where I'm reading Harry Potter in French, and I've turned the English subtitles off my favorite French movies. I think that's pretty good for one year of study.
So, when a changing home and a changing Cam collide, what will happen? I have no idea. I know somedays it will be tough, and I'll be wistful for my view of Mount Blanc, Gruyére cheese, and chocolate. We'll deal with that when I get there. Right now, however, I'm longing for my parents, the little country road of Illinois 127, the beautiful skyline of Minneapolis, and a 32 oz. Coke from Portillo's.