I've been meaning to post this since I got back from the US while the emotions were still fresh but kept getting sidetracked. So note that, today, I feel great... but as it does every time I am on US soil, I'm hit with a barrage of emotions. I'm elated to be there, overwhelmed by everything around me, thrilled to see those I love and saddened by all that I've missed in my time away.
Add to that jetlag that didn't have enough time to go away and a family wedding, and you've got a super emotional Julie while I was in MN. Like spent most evenings crying kind of emotional.
I had a post up recently about feeling disconnected with home. I've been feeling a bit lost lately - not sure if it's because I knew I was going home (even though it wasn't to Boston, but to the US) and that I was going to see my family or because while I'm excited to embark on another 3 years in Barcelona, it also means another 3 years away from those that I love. I'm feeling torn between my life there and my life here, feelings that I thought I had dealt with in my first 6 months away but apparently have resurfaced.
In my post I had mentioned being out of sight and out of mind. That by us being away, our friends have moved on as they should - life does not start or end with us and I know that. But it is still hard to feel as though people have moved on when I haven't and quite honestly I don't know that they have moved on, I've just been feeling like they have. Though in a way, the idea of out of sight, out of mind has also been effective for me - it's helped me to deal with the emotions of being away from everyone I hold dear. I'm able to compartmentalize the pain and loss of time with my friends and family because I'm not seeing them in person so when I'm in the US, I lose that ability to push those feelings aside and they come storming out in a sloppy, emotional mess.
Being away from home doesn't just mean being away from friends and family but it also means missing out on important events as well as day to day life with those I love. This summer I'll be missing the wedding of a very close friend and I wish more than anything I could be there with her on her big day. It also means missing out on time with my parents who inevitably are getting older (sorry but it's true - but then we are all getting older right?). It saddens me to see a decrease, even the slightest, in the mental state of a loved one and I do see it. Three more years is a world of time when it comes to mental awareness and I most definitely feel guilty enjoying my life while life at home is changing in a completely different way, and it's a way I may someday regret having missed.
As I sat contemplating all of this emotional turmoil, the song Butterfly Kisses came on my ipod, it's the song I danced to with my dad at my own wedding (this was all the night before Jay's wedding). If you don't know the song, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmC3rJR7E98&ob=av3e. As the tears streamed down my face as I remembered that first father/daughter dance, and while I know I miss my family all the time, this was the first time I felt the loss of missed time spent away.
All I can say is that when I'm home, or at least on American soil, my emotions rule the day. As I weighed the pros and cons of how my life has changed in the last 2 1/2 years, I can't help but look back at what I've missed and the things I will be missing over the course of the next 3 years. But I'll also be having experiences that I'm incredibly lucky to have and for that my emotions take me in a completely different direction. I have no regrets about the choices I've made, or I should say that Josh and I have made. I'm looking forward to our next 3 years of adventures here in Barcelona... but it doesn't mean that I don't see the other side of the coin and sometimes wish that I could have the best of both worlds.
I'm lucky to get to go home again next month, just 4 weeks away. It made leaving Minnesota just a little bit easier knowing that in just a few short weeks I'll be back again. So until then...