I have been home for exactly 1 months today... here is stuff I have learned:
- Reality sucks!!! It was nice to escape the pain, hurt, sadness, stress, frustration, monotony, and difficulty of real life for 6 months. It would seem being away has made me less able to handle it well... then again, who ever handles those things well?
- American money is really weird. The bills are so thin and long... and the coins are so light and small. It is strange having single bills and not £1 or £2 coins.
- When I first got off the plane in America, I noticed the distinct smell of fried food... didn't realize that was missing so greatly in Europe, but it was.
- I love having my family and friends around. You have no idea the joy it gives me to be able to text and call any friend I want to at any time
- I have missed Open Door, I have missed my church family. It feels good to know that people know me there.
- I need a job. I had a lovely first 3 weeks of visiting friends and catching up with people, but now I need to fill my hours with something as I am getting bored... and stir crazy
- Not living alone is an adjustment. I have lived on my own for several years now and upon returning to the states, I moved in with my parents. It is strange not having my stuff filling the house and not having more space that is all my own.
- free food. I love grocery shopping and buying food, but it is nice not having to spend money... and home cooking is lovely!
- DRIVING!!! I have thoroughly missed driving and the joy I feel every time I slip into the drivers seat is indescribable! I love being able to just drive wherever I want to go - not have to wait for a train or walk - I love driving and I love my car.
- I miss walking. I actually do... I love driving, but there was such a feeling of accomplishment that came from walking around an entire European city. I felt so fit!
- I have loved eating all my favorite American foods again - sunflower seeds, gushers, QT 32 oz drinks, Wild Flower Bread Company, Whole Food's sushi, In & Out, Wendy's spicy chicken sandwiches, Burger King's Spicy Chicken Crisp, Ben & Jerry's Smores, Velveeta Shells & Cheese, Lucky Charms, and all the milk in the fridge I can handle - heaven
- Visiting my favorite stores - Forever21, Target (like 15 times now), Ross, Kohls, Payless, Old Navy, Teidemann's thrift store, Dollar Store, Apple Store, etc.
- Being able to see pictures, TV shows, Movies, advertisements and be able to say I have been to such place. Walking through Target I always use to look at their art pieces of France or London or Italy and dream about one day seeing them for myself. I walked through the other day and saw a big poster of the Eiffel Tower and got so excited that I had seen it in person, and also knew exactly where the photographer must have been standing to take the picture... small joys.
- Sharing with people about my experience. I keep telling everyone I meet that they need to drop everything and do what I did... even if just for a couple weeks - but to go on an adventure. People also always ask whether I feel like God revealed stuff about me that I didn't know before - stuff I was more capable of. And I answer "no". I think the thing that God taught me while I was away was not anything about me... but EVERYTHING about Him. I learned so much about who God is and how much he deeply deeply deeply loves me. I have said in posts before that God seemed so audible there, so tangible... returning here I would have to be honest and say that it is harder to hear him and feel him in my normal life... but the memory of what I experienced there reminds me of the reality of God.
Thanks for enjoying the ride with me. I will continue to post on this blog of course, but it will soon return to the mundane adventures of a girl in her mid-twenties who is trusting God to help her figure out life, school, love, friendships, and her purpose...