That is how overwhelmed I got with life...I haven't posted about returning to my home and native land until four months after the fact. Actually, coming back to the States wasn't really the problem. After I got over my initial shock about how big everything was (e.g. the cars), I got into a summer rhythm. Well, first I had to be home for two days, then drive to Grand Rapids, then drive to Kansas City for a wedding and then drive back only to drive from Cleveland to GR again to move into my summer house and start my new job, but hey, whatever. After that I got into a summer rhythm that involved Hope friends, Hope's campus, Holland, and the area I've come to know so well within the past three years. I thought I could take everything on again. I thought I was ready. After a brief jaunt home for my friend's wedding in August, I thought I could drive back up to Hope and take the plunge back into American classes, American academia, American schedules, American life...
This is really freaking hard. English classes meet once, MAYBE twice a week for a couple of hours, and the only homework I had all semester was to read books for class and write two 2,500-word essays. That was it. That was the whole semester. Oh, and I only had three classes and ONE society with which I was actually involved.
Yeah, here's my Hope schedule:
Monday: work in the English department 11:15-12:30, Chapel Choir 4:30-5:30, Luminescence 5:30-7, Nykerk meetings 9-11
Tuesday: class 9:30-11, class 12-1:30, class 1:30-3, Chapel Choir 4:30-5:30, class 6-7:20
Wednesday: work 11:15-12:30, Chapel Choir 4:30-5:30, Luminescence 5:30-7
Thursday: see Tuesday
Friday: work in the English department 11:15-12:30, work in Saugatuck 1-7 and close
Saturday: work in Saugatuck 3-9 and close
Sunday: sometimes church, if I'm lucky and can drag myself out of bed for it.
...and then I begin again. Pretty much all of my free time is spent doing the massive amounts of busy work and reading I have for my classes. THIS IS SO MUCH READING. AND SO MUCH WRITING. AND SO MUCH BUSY. Not to mention that I have yet to secure myself an internship for next semester which needs to happen within the next two weeks or earlier and Equestrian Club hasn't even started yet and Lumies hasn't had any gigs yet and Nykerk hasn't happened yet and Vespers hasn't happened yet and and and and
this is why I'm spontaneously combusting.
In the meantime, everyone I left behind just kept living their lives without me. I know they don't mean to rub it in, but every once in awhile it slips out. "Hey, remember that one time that ____________?? That was hilario -- oh. You were gone." "Hey, remember doing this song? What part were you? Oh...you've never seen it before. You were gone."
They don't mean to be rude, they're not blaming me, and I wasn't gone on purpose. Nobody is at fault, and yet I still feel bad every time this happens. Yes, I was off having the time of my life in a new place, but while I was doing that, everyone else was having a pretty good time, too, and they were doing it without me there.
This is turning pretty emo pretty quickly. I promise I'm not depressed beyond all reasonable comprehension...I'm actually pretty happy, for the most part. I'm happy to be back, I'm happy to see everyone I missed while I was gone, I'm happy to get to do all of my favorite Hope activities again, and I'm happy to be back in my own familiar corner of the world. It's just sometimes hard to reinsert myself into the world I vacated; sometimes it feels like there's not a lot of wiggle room and I don't quite fit the way I used to. A small part of me felt guilty talking to students at the Study Abroad fair today. I was repping my heart out for York St. John and talking about what a great time I had there, but somewhere deep down I was thinking, "but if you go...you'll have to deal with this, too...and nobody tells you about the numb homesick ache you get once you're home and you can't just go back."
I've compared it to feeling like I graduated from Hope and went off in the world and then all of a sudden I was just...back. It feels so good to be back, but it also doesn't really feel quite right, either. It feels like I shouldn't be here and that I should be somewhere else.
Honestly, if this is what graduating feels like, this is gonna suuuuuuuck.