Thursday, December 22, 2011

Home...for now

My mother came to visit me in Glasgow for my last week there, and we flew home together. I had saved most of the touristy stuff outside of the city for when she got there, figuring that I wasn't going to want to pay to do it twice, and she wasn't going to want to do it alone. We went to Loch Ness, Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle, Edinburgh and a few other places. You can look at pictures here.  She was driving me crazy by the end of the first day, and i shudder to think what we were like by the time we got to Newark on Sunday, but we still had a bit of fun. It was such a shock to go from minimal face to face human interaction to not having five minutes to myself to think, but we both got a wee bit better at finding a few moments of space. (To anyone who had I spent time with during my last two days, I'd lost all patience at that point, and if I was a bit rabid I'm sorry. Ma brings out the worst in me sometimes. (Don't make that face, you know you do, and it goes both ways))

I had a few minutes on Saturday to say goodbye to Glasgow, a city that had just started to feel like home before heading back to the hotel to pack all my stuff up for the trip home. When I left Dublin, the city kept my arm warmers sometime in the last week. I found new ones in Edinburgh this time, and yarn in Glasgow to make my own. My hair comb is floating around somewhere though, and I have no idea when or where it disappeared. We got almost everything home. Most of the kitchen stuff had to be left behind, but I saw that coming before I even left the states.

My mother and I flew home from Glasgow on Sunday. I've been home for just about a week now, and it's interesting to see the changes. My first day here, I walked into my room, and turned on the switch outside the door intending to turn on the light in my room. It was a bit of a surprise when rather than turn on the light in my room, it turned on a lamp in the living room. The switch's intended use had not changed, rather I had become accustomed to switches not necessarily being inside the room. I had a brief moment of "Crap, I've been gone too long" , before flipping the switch that's turned on the light in my room...the same switch it had been for the last 22 years. The rest of the day pretty much went like that.

When I first got home, my room was a complete muddle. Yes ma, I did notice that you put the door tag from the hotel on my door, don't think you were sneaky enough to pull it off without my noticing. I've spent a few days this week working on it, but it's a huge task, and I'm going to have to do it in pieces, but I can get to my bed, and after Tuesday my clothes as well. Oh, and the laundry I have to do. Gods, it's like the never ending pile of laundry. Be the death of me, it will, I swear. The two weeks before I left for Glasgow back at the end of August were such a rollercoaster ride, that in the scramble to put things away for the hurricane and then trying to pack after pulling some things out again resulted in complete madness for alot of the drawers in my room. I can't find half of my stuff. If anyone finds the remote for my ZLive please, please, please let me know. I'm lost without it. @_@

There's a bit more of reverse culture shock this time, but I'm rolling with it. The milk tastes funny here now, and it's less watery then in Europe, something I complained about the whole time I was there, especially when it came to baking. It's bright outside, like really really bright, and I find myself loving the sunlight, something which I'm sure once it starts to warm up I'll wish I was back in rainy Scottish weather. I miss public transport like I miss country music when I'm abroad. I actually thought about finding a bike for when it gets warmer, but I'm hoping to get the ball rolling on getting my license before then. I'm not adjusting to the time change well. Going to bed early and waking up before the sun is up. I realized I got used to the general friendliness among the people in Glasgow, and while it was always startling to me while I was there, I miss it now that I'm home and find people to be a bit rude. It's odd, because I always knew that but I was never bothered by it before.

There's good things about being home too. Midnight doesn't seem to hate me as much as he did when I got home from Dublin, Mags is a bit more needy, and Toby's just happy to be in the same room with me. I've got little scratches all over my hands from him. Baking doesn't seem like such a monumental task anymore (there's cheesecake in the oven cooling down). It's nice to be back in my own room and sleep in my own bed. I've gotten to see some of my friends here, and I have a bunch more people to see and catch up with, some of whom it's been way too long since I've seen them. That baseline stress level that exists while living in another country has gone away, and I'm sleeping a bit better again. I'm better at finding things in stores and such here, and the familiarity overrides the sense that something is missing. We've moved on from dial-up to normal-ish speed internet, and I'm looking forward to being able to better keep in touch with friends, especially through skype. I miss hearing people's voices and seeing their faces when we talk.

So for now, I have just the one semester left at Rutgers, and then, fingers crossed, I'll graduate in May. I don't really have a plan after that, but I have time to figure things out. I have a few weeks before the semester starts, and I'm hoping to get my room under control and get some things done. I've got a few homemade face/hair mask/lipbalm/solid body bar recipes knocking around in my head that I've been dying to try out, and I'm finding just how much I love working with those kinds of things. I want to clean out part of the back of the house, and maybe get to use the rooms for something other than storage, but that's something to focus on later. Mom bought a fire pit for the yard, and it's reminded me that I want to reshape the raised bed gardens. I keep thinking about plants for next spring, and the mint needs to be buried this week before the frost comes if I want it to last till next year.

These past four months in Glasgow have taught me a lot of things. Some good, some bad, and some I have yet to figure out. Recently I realized as much as I need to be just another person in a city sometimes, it doesn't make me happy. I need some sort of community, and I'd just started to build one in Glasgow when it was time for me to leave. I always liked being able to hide in the crowds of big cities, but I've found it's only fun when you have something to come home to, a place where you're not just another face in a sea of hundreds. They aren't really the place for me anymore, especially not for long periods of time.

Last summer Da and I started talking about places other than Jersey. I've got one particular place out in one of the western states in mind, and I think one day I'll probably end up out there. It's a small little place in Wyoming, that's nothing like Jersey. I have time to figure it out. This time last year I wanted to travel to a handful of the largest cities in the country and spend time living there. Not anymore. I think I just might be a small town kind of girl. And I'm okay with that. I need people who care in my life, in a place where I can feel comfortable and safe, where people know me and I know them. I have some of that here in Jersey, but I'm finding that Jersey might be a bit...not necessarily hostile, but not as friendly and welcoming as I'd prefer. Perhaps that'll change with time.

So as a last comment, if you've found your way here from facebook, just a warning, that while I'll continue to write posts after today, I'm not going to post on facebook that there's a new post. It'll be your choice to check back if you're interested in reading more. That's all for now. Bed time for the jet lagged girl. Be well.

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