What a long strange trip it's been...and it all ends today. Weird, huh?
I can't believe it's been 2 years since I've seen the U.S. of A. but I will tonight. I think traveling for a bit after leaving Moldova was a wise move. It helped me relax and settle and readjust to the semi-western world. I know there is still a long road ahead but I got to take the trip of a lifetime and I am grateful for that.
I will arrive in NY Tuesday evening and stay with my dear friends, the Putnams in Brooklyn for the night. On Wednesday morning I will wake up and travel home to Pennsylvania to see my parents and siblings. Mom is waiting with my favorite dip and chips, because that's the kind of Mom she is.
Then the job search begins. I will work with my brother at the restaurant for a few days to get me out of the house and help him out but I will still be searching for something permanent hopefully in the LA area. Yes, heading back to CA. Unless something magical opens up in the UK or on the East Coast, I think I'm meant to be in CA.
I have learned a lot these past few years. Things about me, what I'm capable of, what I can and cannot handle and mostly what I don't want to be. I guess that's something. Unfortunately, it did not provide me with the answer of what I want to do. I still have time to decide, but the pressure has begun.
I wish all Americans would get the chance to live in developing countries to see how good we have it. I know it's cliche to say, but we are some lucky sons of bitches to grow up where we did. The 'land of opportunity' is such an understatement. People all over the world are literally dying just to step foot on the land we call home. And there we are fighting about stupid petty things. I think the major lesson I have learned is kindness. I have been reading these job websites and so many of them say "you must have a thick skin." Why? Because you are in a position of power and don't have the time or necessity to be kind to people? I worked for many people like this in the past that mistake cruelty for respect and if I have taken anything away from this experience, I will not be around those people any longer. It's not about having a thick skin, it's about what you're willing to tolerate. Just basic human kindness goes so far. The overwhelming Irish hospitality granted me memories of a lifetime. I was surrounded by natural beauty and historical landmarks and what I remember is the kindness. Isn't it funny that when we meet someone really kind these days our first reaction is "what's wrong with them...are they creepy?" So, kindness...that's my goal.
I guess I am going to have to break down and buy one of those phones everyone's so crazy about. Going this last month without one has been really liberating. Not knowing what time it was, only relying on once a day internet to communicate...the good old days.
But real life is approaching. I have had a really good run. I don't regret anything I did for a second. Even my worst memories in Moldova caused me to learn something. I do know that I am 40 years old and yesterday I sat in the bottom of a lava canyon in a geothermal spa. I'd say I'm a pretty damn lucky girl.
Thanks, California friends - for keeping up with me and the weird time change to chat with me into the night and keep me posted on the theatre goings on in that part of the world.
Thanks, theatre kids - my entourage of crazies who I get to watch grow up in front of my eyes. I love that you still keep me in your thoughts. I know you're always in mine.
Thanks, College friends - It's been nearly 20 years and you're still my family.
Thanks, Too Faced friends - for staying with me long after I left the company. Even traveling across the world to reunite with me. Thanks, Juli for sending me boxes of my cravings and keeping me sane with the tiniest of gestures and at the same time contributing to charities halfway around the world.
Thanks, new Peace Corps friends - for becoming family and getting me through this very strange transition for the past 2 years. I know we will all be relying on each other in the months/years to come.
Thanks, besties - you know who you are. Never stopped supporting me once.
And most of all, thanks, family - for loving me through Skype and loving me because of these crazy things I do and not in spite of them.
That's all for now. Hard to believe but time for a new chapter to begin.
Signing off now, this American Idiot is going home.