You’ve been feeling jetlagged this last week although you never left the state, let alone the time zone. Sometimes the world and your past come to your doorstep.
Conversations about your hometown with old friends and new. You wonder at the overlapping orbits our lives trace.
Conversations with family on the other side of the world. You wonder at how, for a change, you are the one who stayed.
Conversations overheard on the bus, at the beach, at the deli, in Spanish, filling you with yearning for the other lives you led and left behind. You wonder what you are doing here, why you have shackled yourself to English again.
Some days you wake and it takes you a while to realise where you are. You forget which bed, which room, which city this is. Which bed, which room, which city you wish this was.
It’s days like these the dissonance is more pronounced and you feel more foreign than when you were a foreigner.
Where the hell are you? You wonder.
What is the deal with these tree-lined streets and overgrown concrete; all this fancy food, the train-filled morning commute; skinny flat whites and clean city lights; people who look like or talk like you, but have no idea what you’ve been through?
This is how you feel.
You are a wanderer who longs to settle; yet settling, you long to wander. Sitting, geographically-speaking, in the one country you’re allowed to call your own, you find yourself on some level internally displaced.
You remember you are a stranger and a pilgrim – missing the Garden behind you, craving the Paradise that awaits in a distant future. Struggling to be present when you’re neither here nor there but always somewhere in between.
You keep looking to see if there’s a cure for emotional jetlag. Maybe all you need is some rest. Or a decent holiday.
Header image found at whysci.com, taken from the film Inception.