People try to tell you what your first trip back home is going to be like after you’ve lived abroad, but they never tell you about your subsequent visits. You hear, “Oh, things are going to be different,” “You’re going to realize that you don’t fit in,” and “You will learn that your home isn’t as perfect as you’ve made it out in your mind.” And while each person is different and I definitely learned a lot my first visit back, my second visit proved even more important.
I haven’t written a blog in awhile since I took over a month off from Cairo. In my defense, the first leg of my trip was work related. However, what I noticed about this time away was how much happier I am in my life than I was on my last visit home. It took my first visit to tell me that I have got to let go and realize that my life is currently in Cairo. Egypt will never be my home, but it is an adventure and one that I’m happy to have experienced.
Another aspect was the sheer nostalgia of where I’ve come from, where I’ve been, and where I want to go. While in NY, I found myself on the wrong train in the wee hours in the morning headed toward NJ. No bueno. Then when I finally got situated, I ended up walking for over 30 minutes to my friend’s apartment (around 5 am). I wish I could blame this mistake on alcohol, but unfortunately, I’m just going to play it off as a ‘blonde’ moment. I ended up walking past the very last restaurant I worked at, and I remembered getting fired on Dec. 18, 2006 because “it just wasn’t working out,” unable to make rent, and just thinking that I was never going to make my dreams a reality.
Okay, enough of the pity party. Moving on. I went to my first full time job that I started on Jan. 2, 2007 (while having a near nervous breakdown over getting fired from the restaurant, I prayed that things would pick up and on Dec. 23, 2006, I received an offer to work here). I try to remain in good graces with each of my previous jobs, and this one is no different. I’m very loyal and will also be appreciative of the start this job gave me. I still have my sweet friend Seth who emails me even when I’m unable to respond, and he is one of my biggest supporters. I saw Sue and Dianne and many others. I even brought back a coffee mug and a water container just to give me a reminder that not only did this job give me my start, it continues to give me support no matter where I am.
From there, I met up with a couple of old restaurant buddies, Miranda and Tabitha. My how time flies and how people change. We reminisced about our old lives and how far we’ve all come. It is amazing to remember that although I have frustrating and trying times in Egypt, sometimes we overlook all the hard times we had at home. I used to cry continuously over money, jobs, etc., and often times I forget how difficult things were there and just place ‘home’ on this nonexistent pedestal.
I also went back to my college to celebrate its homecoming, seeing my nephew following somewhat in my footsteps, and…ATTEDING MY 10 YEAR HIGH SCHOOL REUNION! I learned a little something else when it comes to the dating scene. However, this blog is long enough so just wait for the Letters from Egypt: All Things Trivial.