n. the feeling of returning home after an immersive trip only to find it fading rapidly from your awareness—to the extent you have to keep reminding yourself that it happened at all, even though it felt so vivid just days ago—which makes you wish you could smoothly cross-dissolve back into everyday life, or just hold the shutter open indefinitely and let one scene become superimposed on the next, so all your days would run together and you’d never have to call cut.
We each had a kind of life changing trip to another country last year. I know it left me marked and I think she would say the same since she’s starting new adventures thanks to her time in Poland.
I have wanted to write about my trip ever since I returned, but I’ve struggled to know how. Sure, I could have dumped 500 photos in your lap and called it a day. Maybe when this is all over it won’t amount to more than that. I’d like to try though. There have been several false starts, promises of “next week on the blog” that I fully intended to follow through with, only to find myself paralyzed when I sat down to write.
I don’t know what this is. It’s might be more about how I process things than anything else. I don’t know what happened over there. Well, I do. I know what I saw, who I met, where I walked. What I’m trying to understand is what happened inside me. This sounds like melodrama, but I promise I’m being sincere. A year ago I was hovering somewhere over the Atlantic. Tonight, it’s time to write.
n. the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it—whether through envy or pity or simple foreignness—which allows it to drift away from the rest of your life story, until the memory itself feels out of place, almost mythical, wandering restlessly in the fog, no longer even looking for a place to land.
We talked about that word and our experience with it. It was one of the most difficult parts of returning home for me. Trying to explain all that had transpired while I was there and finding people (a few, not many!) indifferent or completely unwilling to hear about it. That’s enough to shut a person up for a little while, never mind being told, “I hope you got that out of your system.”
There are few things I’ve been sure of for a very long time. One thing I always hoped would happen was that trip. I think I got distracted along the way and stopped believing it would. But things bubble to the surface. That trip was always going to happen. And it could be some hippy dippy belief in fate and the order of things, but with everything I experienced over there I’m certain it was supposed to happen. It took a long time and I had to work up the nerve, but once I stepped foot on the plane, and every day after, there was no trepidation. I just kept walking forward.
Here goes… <3
— Elizabeth Michelle (@ElizabethMelle) May 8, 2014
This is going to go slowly. I figured a nice way to get it all out was to focus on one or two days at a time. So, there won’t be a post every day, but I plan to wrap this all up in two weeks. It’s more for me than anything. I do hope you enjoy the pictures that I’m finally sharing though, and the little bits of stories from my days.