In seven hours, my flight will be departing out of Dulles International Airport. In just under sixteen hours, I will be arriving in Berlin Tegel. I’ve only been home for five days (if that), and already I’m starting to shift back into old habits and patterns of thought. That’s not to say either one is good or bad, but watching myself come back into this “home” environment has made me realise just how much I’m changing abroad.
The way that I talk is different. How I act feels distinctly out of place. Luckily my family has a sort of consistency that transcends time and distance. No matter how strange it feels to be at home in suburbia, I feel distinctly not judged. There’s a chance I’m just waffling on from the overwhelming amount of sugar overload from pumpkin and chocolate cream pies. But somehow it feels different. I’m no longer so focused on the pleasing other people by changing who I am. Being myself is actually something I want to do, rather than provoking a brief identity crisis.
Regardless of what side of the Atlantic I’m on, however, I feel buffeted by holiday cheer. I don’t just mean drinking absurd amounts of Holiday Spice Flat Whites from Starbucks or eating far too many salted caramel chocolates, though they do help. The month between Christmas and Thanksgiving is probably one of my favourite parts of the year; it means buying gifts for people, writing cards and being grateful for just how much we love one another. I’ve already started making my lists and tracking down addresses. Even though I’ll be away for the majority of the holiday season, I cannot wait long enough to send cards to those I love and sharing with them how much they matter to me.
This week is expected to bring some cheer from being back in Berlin (although my visa appointment is on Tuesday – wish me luck!). It’s time to get back into learning how to be a web developer, reading more books, interviewing for all of the jobs and being as productive as possible. Wish me luck!