Saturday, September 12, 2009

Kind of anti-climatic, huh

I'm back in the USA, and I've been home for nearly two months. And it's been wonderful and boring and happy and sad and every emotion in between. And I've let this blog sit. Lots of family and friends kept asking me to finish up, but I've been putting it off. It's been difficult to put these jumbled thoughts and vague feelings into words, but I'll give it a shot.

Coming home has been one of the weirder experiences of my life. While it was amazing to see family, catch up with some friends, and spend every second possible with Dan, it still feels... off. I think a lot of it has to do with the whole "not working/contributing to society in some way" thing. I keep thinking, "I'm sure everything will fall into place once I get a job", but a little voice keeps telling me that's only part of it.

When I arrived in Switzerland, I feel like I fit in so very well. There seemed to be a little Cam-shaped puzzle piece available in the picture of Swiss life, and I just slipped right in and started living. Coming home, it seems I've... outgrown, for lack of a better term, the little Cam-shaped space I left. I've changed, some edges have softened, and some have sharpened, and now I'm struggling trying to get the new Cam to fit in the old Cam space. The thing is, I don't want to compromise either. I don't want to forget who I was, before my life was changed by the intoxicating beauty of Switzerland, and I don't want to compromise what I've become. I suppose (that is to say, I know) this is just another part of life, learning to how to deal when you grow and change, something I'm constantly reminded will never stop happening. I suppose that might be one of the most important things I can learn.

I remember the end of the movie, The Return of the King, part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Frodo has returned to Bag End, everything should be right and well, but he feels unsettled. He writes in his book, "How do you pick up the pieces of an old life?" Frodo, that question has been plaguing me since I saw the Chicago skyline from my window seat right before the airplane landed.

I don't know. But I'm giving it a shot.

Again, I'll use someone else's idea and paraphrase from the poet Rilke; I will try to live into the answer. I guess all I can do is live the question, and I will someday live into the answer.


connie said...

Yes, and this is what I was speaking of before you had left. And I know you emailed me. My life has been full trying to do just that. I think we need to chat on the phone. It really is the most bizarre thing to return home.

My Brand New Swiss Life said...

Wow, your blog post rings so true. Well put.

I am in denial about an re-patriation (back to Boston or Chicago) from CH.

It is wonderful & yet minutely tragic to identify with a world beyond your permanent one.

Sarah Von said...

I was abroad on and off for five years and I've been back in The States for 7 months and it's still a bit hard :/

I also just wanted to pop over and thank you for entering the giveaway for my calendar over at Already Pretty. We've still got a few left for sale if you're interested (cough, shameless self-promotion, cough) ;)

Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels said...

This is my first visit to your blog, but I feel like I really know how you feel. I would never be able to return to Italy and live there. Go back on vacation, sure, but to live? It would drive me crazy.

But maybe it's not a forever thing. Maybe it's good for you to experience what most expats feel like when they move - even if you are feeling that way back home. I have been there many times, and I think that while it's hard, it's good for us, too.

here's hoping you will find your way back to Switzerland, if you decide that is what you want.