It feels like I dreamt it. The whole thing, the entire two years. This is a phenomenon I was not expecting, this incredible distance, both physically and emotionally, from the place I was living in just days ago.
Before I left, it felt like there would be no end to tears, to this ripping at my heart as I left a small piece of myself in a home I loved. And now, honestly, I feel as if I woke up, and here I am in the house where I grew up, in a comfortable bed, fans blasting back the summer heat, endless entertainment of a cultural language I understand, a fridge stocked with food I know, and my flesh and blood family right here, hugs with whom feel as natural as breath.
Armenia, where did you go? I can hardly feel anything but panic when I think about people who were just within arms’ reach, a whole world that I swear I had in my sights a minute ago and now seems to have puffed into smoke. I might just believe it never happened if it weren’t for a Facebook chat with my Armenian counterpart or a phone call from a fellow volunteer, these faint whispers that my life there actually existed.
Why the distance? My friend and fellow volunteer who landed in Maine the same day I landed here, she and I talked about it over the phone. We thought that perhaps the absolute ease of such a familiar life might be distracting us from the change. We thought that maybe it would take some time to realize everything that had happened and all that it meant. Or perhaps we’re just in some kind of shock so severe that to take stock of the whole situation might be incapacitating.
Maybe there’s just so much to miss that I can’t grasp it all just yet.
Tomorrow, early in the morning, my mother and I are driving to the Louisiana bayou to visit her parents. There will be no internet or pool or gym to distract me. I am going to take my blog friend‘s advice and start quickly digging deep into memory and taking some notes on that Armenian life I was living. Perhaps I’ll start with names like Gayane, Artur, Arpine, and Liana and then work my way to memories from there.