We talked about reverse culture shock in my last blog. One aspect of repatriation that I was not prepared for was the inevitable down time. The time in between the fun happy hours and coffee dates. The time in between job hunting and going hiking. The time in between when everyone is at work and you’ve already accomplished your to-do list for the day. The time in between waking and sleeping.
Before I left Mexico, I reached out to friends who have gone through (and still going through) the PCV to RPCV transition. I asked for any advice they could give me during the transition and repatriation. Some responded with a brief, “I’m sorry, but I didn’t do so well in that department and you probably shouldn’t take any advice from me.” Others gave me a long list or ideas of things I could do to help myself. One dear friend who is also a RPCV, actually asked if she could interview me as part of a finals project for her Master’s theatre education program. She studied repatriation, reverse culture shock, and the transition from a RPCV perspective; I was her case study. She interviewed me and used her notes to inform her performance piece at the end of this semester. Being well connected and in NYC, she shared her notes with a slam poet – Anthony McPherson – and he took the time to write poetry about MY feelings. I am honored and amazed at the results; what a blessing to read my own feelings and thoughts through the artistic eyes of others.
I have no goodbyes,
Only good times to come.
The future is big, a target we can’t miss,
Not even if we tried.
Our circle is already coming together again.
Even when I stand in place,
I feel the ground passing under me.
Travel plans swirl in the soles of my feet.
There are too many directions to walk.
All these roads, but for now I am back home.
I can appreciate the familiar sights,
Because soon, my eyes will be gone from them.
It will not last.
People come and go from each other’s lives,
But our circle is a little bit more important:
For the first time in our lives,
We had a place that felt like ours.
We had a place that felt like home.
Here’s another clip of McPhersonTime if you’re interested. This is his piece during the National Poetry Slam Finals.
Thanks for reading! Stayed tuned for more updates and more poetry!