Michael P

2 months in
March 23, 2009, 7:18 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I thought the whole learning experience part of this trip would finish when I stepped on the plane to come back home.  Now it seems like it was only the beginning.  Adjusting to life in Bangladesh was by no means easy, but adjusting to life back in America has been much harder.  The past 2 months have been a roller coaster of emotions and it doesn’t seem to really slow down.

I’d read that reentry shock was difficult and now I understand why.  It’s easy to take culture shock and make sense of it.  With culture shock I tried to make sense of the new emotions I was going through.  Without much difficulty I was able to make sense of why I was feeling a certain way and reacting to certain things.  Reentry shock isn’t so.  Most of the time I was depressed/angry/frustrated I didn’t know why.  While in Bangladesh I could say, “I’m tired of this food and there’s too much trash in the streets.”  When I got back home I couldn’t do that because I understand American culture and food and used to not find any of it weird. Without this ability to rationalize my emotions I felt really lost and lonely.  What made things harder is that it’s hard to go to someone and reminisce about Dhaka or share memories.  Besides when my family came to visit me, most of my memories only included me.

I’d heard about how the economy had changed since I left and now I’m starting to experience it first hand.  A few days before I got back I decided I was going to come home, take come classes at the local community college, and get a job.  The whole job part of that hasn’t panned out.  I’ve been trying for two months to get anything and so far nothing has happened.  The college part also hasn’t panned out as well as I was expecting.  For reasons I still can’t really figure out I had difficulty mentally going to a one of my classes and now I’m just down to class on Fridays.  Without a job and class only on Friday I have tons of time on my hands.  All that free time leads to over thinking my situation and making myself feel worse about everything.

Overall I’d say that I don’t enjoy being home.  Life here is unstimulating and boring.  Socializing with my friends isn’t what I remembered it to be.  I miss the sense of adventure and constant learning that was involved in the various cultures that I was in.  Now the highlights of my week are going to Asian food stores and trying to recreate the amazing time I had abroad.   Watching the travel channel and seeing familiar sights just makes me miss what I had and makes me frustrated and depressed with my current situation.  The learning is nowhere close to being over and the adjusting part seems to be nowhere close to finishing.