The more things change the more they stay the same.
I always debate with my friends whether an individual can change.
A year after returning home I’m still not sure.
July marked our one year anniversary of being back and I still have a difficult time looking at the pictures that I took. When I do look at them, it takes me back in time.
My most favourite photos help me remember moments with individuals that we shared experiences with. Whether it was dinner in Argentina, a tuk tuk ride in Thailand or visiting Versaille and learning about Louis XIV and Napoleon.
These personal experiences bring back the fondest of memories.
Returning to work was extremely difficult. Don’t get me wrong I love my job and I do believe I am good at what I do ( but that’s a biased opinion. ;) ), but sitting at my desk after a year of roaming free was tough.
Things changed quickly though.
Within a month of returning to my workplace, it was like I never left. It’s truly surprising how quickly you can re-acclimatize to “the norm.”
I had a conversation with a friend shortly before I left. He explained to me that his circle of friends has been together since public school. He was not to keen on making any new friends because he wasn’t sure he’d be able to trust them.
Since I returned I have visited, partied and had dinner with a few friends, but the truth is that my circle of friends has shrunk exponentially at home. Thanks to Facebook, my friends in the global community have increased. I Skype with friends in China and email others in India, Argentina, France, Jordan and many other places .
My new friends have exposed me to things that allow me to feel compassion when an event or a breaking news story occurs. I can relate to the individuals involved in that faraway place on some level because of the individuals I met in the place .
After one year of traveling and one year of being home, my experiences have changed me in so many ways. Hopefully my experiences have made me a more complete individual.
So can people change? Maybe they can, maybe they can’t, but you’ll never know if you don’t open yourself up to the challenge
“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.”
– Paul Coelho
I think the change you feel is about awareness, openness, and maturity. When I moved away from my family, everyone said I changed, but I didn’t feel changed. It happened so gradually for me that I couldn’t feel or see it on a day by day basis, and it had to do with being self sufficient and enjoying the freedom of not being attached or related to so-an-so for me. It allowed me to go out an explore the great city I lived in, try new things because I had the means and everything was so close to where I lived – it was a great time for me. And I’m thankful for that opportunity to find out who I was, not who I was born into or was expected to become because our family was a gaggle of loud Irish hooligans. I feel much better about my choices, my decisions and ultimately who I have morphed into. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The flip side is, as you’ve already discovered, it’s hard to go back to that old life fully. For me, I don’t go home much anymore. It’s not home. It’s my hometown. Home is where my husband and I put down roots. I don’t feel comfortable visiting my hometown for more than a weekend anymore. I can’t wait to get home, kick off my shoes and relax surrounded by my familiar things and spaces that I know and took so much time getting to know as Me 2.0.