Sometimes, I can’t believe that I lived in Ireland for a year.
It’s very difficult to be here in America living everyday life, going from place to place, drinking diet cokes, hanging out with friends and family, and comprehend that I missed a year here at home. This place is the same as it has always been, and I do the same things that I did before I left.
Sunday mornings I go to the same church I’ve gone to since I was six. Those afternoons are up in the air. Sometimes I’ll watch NFL with my dad or I’ll hang out with friends or go shopping.
Monday – Friday, I work when I am told to either at the museum in LaGrange or with my dad here in Carrollton. I write as I’m requested and blog as I feel like. At night my mama will cook the same dishes I’ve eaten my entire life.
Saturdays are devoted to college football. When Auburn is at home, my family and I make the trip to Auburn, Alabama to watch the tigers play, and when they are away, we watch the games on TV. I know which big games are happening around America, and who needs to win to help Auburn move up in the poles. (Which, btw, if you watch college football, then you know we shot ourselves in the foot the last two weeks. It is what it is.)
Then Sunday is back, and the process repeats. Life has been like this literally my entire life and as long as I am here in Carrollton, life will always be like that. It never changes.
As I write this, I am sitting in the same coffee shop that I’ve always gone to watching the same people get tea and coffee engaging the same conversations. College students study for the next exam, adults talk about the weather, and I sip on chia lattes. I look at these people and know that while I was gone, they did the exact same thing.
Then I get to thinking, when I was gone. I was gone. I did not live here. For 365 days I lived in another country on the other side of the Atlantic, but because life is the same here in Carrollton as it was when I left, I don’t feel like I was ever gone. My friends had experiences that I was not apart of as I did in Ireland that they were not apart of, yet when I came home, we resumed the same trips to Applebee’s and gossiping at each other’s houses.
I have to consciously remind myself that I lived in Ireland because it doesn’t feel like I did.
Life is so simple here. It doesn’t change and never will. The feeling of “did I live abroad” is a very real one.
I know I have been greatly affected by my time abroad. I look at the world differently. I’ve had experiences that can only be explained by living in Ireland, but I don’t always remember that I lived abroad. It’s weird.
Maybe the way I’m explaining this doesn’t make sense. I can’t seem to make sense of it in my head. But I do know that sometimes I forget that I lived abroad because I am here in my hometown that has not and will not change. Life carries on just as it always has.
I’m the one that’s changed.
But I don’t always even remember that.
Sorry for the weird circular rant post thing I’ve just done. Y’all know that I am a very honest writer and don’t hide very much from y’all. If this made sense to anyone, please let me know. It doesn’t even really make sense to me.