Reality Just Punched Me In the Face

I’ve only been back a little over a week and yet it feels like my big European trip happened last year. Or last decade. When I remember things that happened, even big things like seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time, its almost as if they happened to someone else. I cannot even bring up the feelings I had while traveling. You know, all that happiness. I just can’t remember what that was like.

I keep running back through my decisions prior to making this trip; I wonder what made me think that when I came back, I’d be in a good place. Did I really think living at home was going to be amazing, that I’d keep that high from traveling even after I stopped? I had to have known giving up my independence was a very steep price to pay for the freedom I found for three months.

Those three months were the best most life-changing months, but right now they’re being overshadowed by the depression of being away from all friends, living with my parents–one of whom is hellbent on making my life as miserable as possible–and no job, the only prospects being pretty awful, the only responses from scammers who only want to steal my identity.

I’m worried that I will forget everything that I learned over the past three months, that things will slide through my memory and get lost in the cracks that easily form within my brain (these same cracks hold my entire childhood. Cracks may be too small a term, crevices or caves might work better.). That I will lose all the changes that were made and revert back to the same person I was. I can already see it happening: the anger, the frustration, the laziness, the whining and the complaining. Where’s the happy, positive person from just a mere one and a half weeks ago?

Part of me–and its a really big part–wants to abandon that plane ticket in March (the one that brings me back to Europe) and instead get a job, any job, in another city and settle the eff down. Of course I want the perfect job, not just any job, but right now? I’m playing the desperation card. I will go anywhere my parents are not.

The problem is: I am unmotivated–extremely unmotivated. It doesn’t help that my parents have refused to allow me to use their car, instead telling me I have to get a job that is along the bus line. That is not the kick in the pants I need, more like placing lead in my boots and keeps me put. I can’t even bring myself to sit down and edit the 6,000 pictures and update my etsy site and my website. Granted, 6,000 is pretty daunting but it should be enjoyable and I am just not….feeling it.

Kind of how I’m not really feeling this post. I just don’t like all the negative, woe-is-me shit that’s smudging up my blog.

Except that it is my life right now and while my life was pretty and sparkly and damn fucking fantastic two weeks ago, I’m suffering from a reality let down and it isn’t pretty, or sparkly, and I’m not sure how I’m going to deal with that right now.

One day at a time, right? A lot easier said than done.

11 Responses

  1. Rather than abandoning that plane ticket why not change the date to say…. now. Go live abroad rather than travel there. Do you know another language? Can you teach English to people in, say France, or Italy? What about getting paid to write about your travels?

    Do you read this blog: ? Perhaps you should, maybe you can do what she has done.

    Think outside the box, if you want to be anywhere but where you are, then figure out how to do that. You did it once, you can do it again.

  2. My friend. Coming home from being abroad is the WORST. THING. EVER. Talk to *anyone* who has done it – you go from a constant, euphoric high of constant sensory overload and total freedom, to “back to normal” in the course of one flight. Nobody has yet figured out how to make it easier. I’ve been there multiple times in my life and it gets harder and harder every time. I promise in a week or two you will feel better – maybe you won’t have a job, maybe your parents will still be annoying – but the black cloud sitting over your head will have lifted and you’ll be able to see more clearly. Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT make any big decisions right now. Wait out the post-trip depression and then you’ll figure out what you want to do. I promise.

  3. I went through something very similar 2 years ago… only I came to my parents’ home with 2 kids in tow and an abusive husband in my past.

    My mother did everything she could to beat me down. I lost my job the first week after I moved out there, my ex took our car back, refused to pay child support, and cut off all access to the accounts from me (but refused to take my name off the accounts while he used them)… I needed to get a job and get the hell out of there and away from my mother…
    It took a LONG time for me to learn to ignore what they were saying to me and about me. I got a job, started to support myself and my kids, and when I could i just got the hell out of there.

    There is nothing worse than giving up independence to return to your parents’ home — especially if they resent you being there in the first place and were happy to be rid of you in the first place…

    Hold on there… things can get better.

  4. Reverse culture shock takes weeks to get over, be good to yourself and take it easy. It took me a year to recover from living overseas for 2 years. You just have to remember what you experienced over there was not “reality”, it was a holiday and real life can’t be like a holiday every day. Things will pick up, you just gotta get your head around it all.

  5. Ashley,
    I have yet to find a cure for this feeling, therefore I can offer no advice. I will only say that I understand some of what you are going through, and I will be here for any support.

  6. Having spent 5 months at home in a town whose bus line composed of schoolchildren, I understand. I constantly felt suffocated.

    You’ll slog through, it’ll just happen in its own time. Perhaps then you will find what you need to recapture those emotions. Looking forward to reading what happens when you do.

  7. I agree with Rondamarie – go now! Go and find a waitressing job to pay rent until you can find a suitable job you love. If you’re that adventurous to pack up and go for three months, go on back, as I’m guessing you prob won’t mind living there šŸ™‚

  8. If you had the opportunity to live abroad RIGHT NOW, that’d be great. If not, is there a temporary job you could find in the meantime? Even if it’s just part time and not something you REALLY want to do. Just something that might get you out of the house.

  9. You’ve made a lot of big changes in your life recently and you should be proud of those. It will take time to get adjusted, I know, I just left my husband and successful career in NYC and moved to Philly to take care of my grandmother. I guess my advice to you is two-fold. Make sure you go through your pictures now and write down as much as you remember, because if you think it is fading now, it will only be more hazy in a few months. I can barely remember the great details of my time in Italy 2 years ago. Second, what my sister did when she couldn’t stand living at home after being away for a while is that she got more than one job. She worked all the time just to be out of the house. It will help you save money and you’ll be away from your mom. Before you know it you will be outta there. I guess I just have one question. If you left interior design, is that what you want to go back to doing? Sorry for the long-ass comment! xoxo

  10. it has to be such a shock to come back after 3 months of adventure. hopefully time will help in the adjustment!

    i wish i had the guts to drop everything, get a job just to pay the bills and have the freedom to just pick up and go! šŸ™‚

  11. You can always try teaching abroad. You never know if it will be temporary- some end up meeting someone or getting a job and staying, while others (like me) return home. It’s tough when you love two continents!

    I’ve gone back to Europe to visit the friends I made and I miss both seeing them and living over there, but I am also happy to be settling down here in Seattle. For a time though, I was more eager to go back. Mostly because I felt a loss of direction, but also because I genuinely enjoyed living there. Anyway, there must be a point to all this rambling… if you’re interested in teaching abroad in France or Spain, check out these government programs (I did the one in France):

    If you don’t speak either of those languages at an intermediate level, you might be interested in looking into programs in China, Korea, or Japan… Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: