The biggest question I have gotten from my friends over the last couple of weeks has been, “Has it hit you yet?”
It is a legitimate question, especially from teachers. They know the feeling when it finally does hit. It usually happens about a week or two into summer. They have been running at a break-neck pace throughout the school year to make sure that their students get the most out of every moment during the school day, and all of a sudden it is over. The pace slows down, but the mind still grips on to this reality that they have been forced to live for ten months. And then some time during that second week, every teacher will look over at whoever they are hanging out with, and ask, “What day of the week is it?” That is when it hits them. They are on summer break, and they can now relax a little bit before the insanity starts up again.
This feeling happens to everybody who goes through huge changes in their lives. They know that it is coming, and they try to handle it with grace while trying to juggle all their usual responsibilities. It makes life busier than what they are used to, and they do not really have the time to process the change that they are going through. It isn’t until they have started to live that new lifestyle that they can actually process the change that their life has undergone. That is when it has officially hit them.
When my friends asked me if it had hit me yet over the past couple of weeks, they were talking about the fact that I would be wrapping up my life in one country and moving out to another country; that the great students I got to work with in Korea would no longer be a part of my life, and that I would be working with a completely new set of students with their owns little quirks and ambitions; that the lifestyle that I had become accustomed to over the past four years would have to change and I would have to adjust a whole new culture and language. It would be a lot to process for anybody, and I was too busy closing out the school year, and packing to really think about it. When asked that question, I would always have to tell them, “No, it probably won’t hit me until I wake up on the floor in Seattle.”
Well, yesterday was that day. I had taken all of my worldly possessions, and put them on a plane to travel half way around the world to end up crashing on a floor at my sister-in-law’s place in Seattle. And yes, I did spend the day walking around like a person that only grabbed a couple of hours of sleep on a long plane ride finding themselves in a completely different time zone, but I was able to start to process that changes that my life was going through. And of course, it is a little scary because there is a little bit of the unknown that I am venturing out into. But at the same time, it is exciting because it means that I will get to enjoy a new adventure that allows me to see the world in a whole new way.
But at the same time, the answer is only partly true. The whole reality has not hit me yet. I can only process the fact that I am no longer a resident of South Korea. So I will have to adjust my answer for those who ask me if it has hit me yet. It won’t be able to process how much life has changed until I wake up in my new place in Bangkok. So until then I will continue to move my worldly possession from place to place and wake up in various other places in America in the meantime.