Re-entry shock

Well here’s my first entry after returning to the US. I got back yesterday around 11am and was so exhausted. Had 7 different flights in a two-day period. After changing time zones and flying back and forth I felt quite disoriented and extremely tired. But it was my little sister’s birthday so I had to tough it out and stay awake. Plus I’ve heard that the best way to combat jet lag is to stay up all night the first day and then go to sleep as if you were on current time all along. We’ll see how it works.

It’s still so hard adjusting to being here and especially to not speaking Russian. The whole journey back it was hard to adjust. At airports in between I kept wanting to speak to people in Russian and had to actively stop myself and remind myself that they didn’t speak Russian and that I wasn’t in Russia anymore.

The other day I woke up thinking Russian thoughts and found myself thinking in Russian and even speaking in Russian involuntarily. Then I had moments where I had to stop and think for a minute to think of the English for certain things because my brain has been switched to Russian for so long. It’s such a strange feeling, almost like your brain isn’t your own. So many languages swimming around inside. Again, simply and incredible experience.

One of my first observations once I got back to America was that I don’t really like it here. It’s like everything just irritates me and rubs me the wrong way. It’s hard to explain but I don’t feel as at home here as I did in Russia.

At one point yesterday I felt so overwhelmed by it all that I had a bit of a sad spell which resulted in a bit of hysterics. I was actually crying and saying how much I missed Russia and wanted to go back, almost as if I was love sick for the city. It’s hard to explain what a strange sensation it is to be home, in your own country, yet feeling so out of place. Not to mention it’s an experience that you have to have in order to understand and sometimes it feels like no one “gets” what you’re talking about. Naturally it’s all you want to talk about because it’s changed your life and has affected you so dramatically…but no one wants to hear about your trip 24/7. So yes, re-entry shock is real, and it sucks.

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