Frankly, before departing my current home - Stuttgart, I was worried about what I would experience emotionally/mentally upon arrival and limited stay in Texas - my once home. Maybe worried is too strong; I was in deep consideration and mental introspection. I think I was expecting something similar to my culture shock and general uneasiness that occurred after returning from my six-month stay in India. I've been in Germany longer and I know that I am returning there shortly. So I know that I am not returning home in this trip, but simply here in familiar surroundings for a total of eleven days then back home I go (via Berlin for a class excursion for a week).
I arrived in Houston at some point ... time travel confounds me to no end, especially since according to the airline, I ate dinner at 10am and a midnight snack at 4:30pm, and it was all still happening on the same day that I left. Thus far, it has all felt exactly the same to me. I hadn't planned on this. Besides the particular activities I am doing or not doing, nothing is different, not even my perceptions - no cultural shift necessary. I don't find myself longing for the U-bahn or being surrounded by German talk & text or whatever else defines my newest reality. (oh! but that first taste of brisket was heavenly.) My sister has commented on a few things that I have said or done that are funny to her - one being my speech patterns: my english is different from being around people whose native language is not english, and I also have two other languages swarming in my head constantly. But why do things feel as if the last 9-10 months don't exist?
But that's me. I know life goes on. And really, my life has too traveled from that past into the present, but it's like I have compartmentalized my experiences. hmm.
I am not a loud person. I am not one that jumps into the middle of the circle or enjoys being the center of attention. I am in country for a specific reason: to be very present and supportive before/during/after my sister gets ordinated (I'm pretty sure that verb doesn't exist in the manner I use, but it works for me - ordination in the United Methodist church as a full-blown elder/clergy/pastor/etc.). That's why I've flown over. So when we were going through the schedule of my time here, I was glad that I was in essence staying away from my old city and old church (sorry gang) because the swarm of people is not my style. I like business-as-usual gatherings, either my presence doesn't change the stride of the conversation or it's like I was never gone. Silly to dream such things, I know. But now that I am here, I find myself not minding if I could meet up with friends on this side of globe. We will see; we will see.
In summation: I left "home" confused and have arrived "home" opposite-but-equal confused. Life is grand, ain't it?