Saturday, July 21, 2007


It's been much more rough transitioning back into real life than I thought. How could I have figured out a good deal about how to find and be peace at a homeless shelter, and not be able to do the same at home, where I am supposed to feel the most loved and secure? Why is life so much more complicated and even unhappy here than in a place of constant chaos and trauma? I knew it would be hard to go, but I had no idea it would be so hard to come home. Despite the chaos and the sometimes overwhelming despair, the place that I spent my summer was also full of unconditional love that accepted you and what you had to offer. I was allowed to be me and grow at my own pace, offering as much love as I could as I learned. No one ever disapproved of me (at least, they never made me feel that way). My family and friends here are mostly the same loving, awesome people, but it feels like they're trying to love someone who's not here. I'm still me, but I left a big piece of my heart in New York and I'm just not sure how to be happy or fulfilled without it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Base Camp

After a half hour delay, my plane took off without mishap from Rochester's cute little airport at around 6 PM last night, depositing me back in Atlanta along with two very full suitcases and a backpack. Thus far in my transition back into real life I am still thoroughly overwhelmed. My first surprise was remembering what it's like to be deeply loved. My family and my boyfriend were waiting for me at the Atlanta airport, and it took me a good fifteen minutes to get used to the idea that they had loved me and missed me so much that they wanted to hug and kiss me. I loved deeply and found a lot of love in Rochester, seeing as they weren't family, it was, of course, different. I hadn't even really noticed how genuine unconditional love had simply been missing from my life for the last eight weeks. I've never been without both family and boyfriend at the same time for any extended length of time, if that makes this more comprehensible. I had just forgotten what it's like, to be loved in this way. I don't think I stopped to consider what I was expecting for them to do when I got home, but the hugs and kisses and huge smiles genuinely surprised me and overwhelmed me.

Of course, some things I have adjusted to easily. I slept well in my bed last night, and I took a shower this morning without flipflops on my feet. I ate a sandwich for lunch that my dad made me last night, just like when I was growing up. I went by my church and my parents' office and saw several familiar faces. And the other things will come in time. I have a month to re-adjust to life outside of a homeless shelter. Tonight I'm going to On the Deck, a kind of Catholic youth group for college kids in Atlanta. It will be nice to be with kids my own age again and do "normal" things like eat burgers and talk about majors. There are several important holidays coming up (birthdays and anniversaries) that will keep me busy too. That's the key right now, keeping busy. Then I don't think about how my friends are doing back in Rochester, and for right now, I can't handle thinking about them too much.

The house (in Rochester) is closing for two weeks to do repairs and stuff, as it does every year. I'm hoping and praying that they all had a place to go and that the transition is going smoothly. The silence is oppressive- I'm all alone in my house right now. I haven't been all alone in a building in a long time. I miss their voices and laughter and constant requests. I'll get used to this nagging ache eventually, but it's going to take some time before I really feel at home in my own house.