To be honest, I've been feeling really overwhelmed and slightly disoriented. I am definitely experiencing sensory overload which I didn't even think was a real thing but apparently it is. I had church last night and while it was good to see everybody again and to be in that building that I love so much again, it was also very overwhelming and awkward for me. I haven't really had enough time to process everything yet so I am glad that people so far have been respectful and haven't bombarded me with questions and such. I don't think I could handle that right now so I am thankful that I haven't had to be put in the awkward position of having to answer lots of questions right now. I need my time to process everything. It might take me a few days before I am ready to talk about my experiences and everything that happened to me over the last year. I promise you that that will happen but please just give me some time. I'm honestly just feeling so overwhelmed right now. A lot has changed back home in the year I've been gone and so I am having to process all that as well. I guess you could say I'm experiencing what they call culture shock. Being back has been much more difficult than I ever imagined it would be. Yes, I am very happy to be back (which might surprise some of my loyal readers) but it just feels weird probably this marks the longest time I have spent away from home ever. A year is a long time to be gone. Lots of changes happen in that time. People die, children grow, babies are born, new businesses open, others close, and people change.
At any rate, I am back in Texas until August 26th. If you are in the area and want/need to see me, let me know. My schedule is getting booked quickly, though, so you better let me know ASAP or else it may be hard for me to fit you in my schedule. Keep in mind that I am very broke right now(as in, I have zero dollars in my bank account) so if you want me to go out to eat with you or whatever, you may have to pay for me. I know that could create a very awkward situation, potentially, which is why I am putting it out there now so everything is clear. I'm starting school in the fall without a penny to my name so just be conscious of that when you ask me to join you somewhere. I really do want to see as many people as I possibly can while I'm here so please do let me know if you genuinely want to see me. I haven't seen anybody here in almost a year and some of you, maybe even longer than that so please give me an excuse to get out of the house for a few hours.
The next three weeks consist of pretty much nothing. I've got a pretty clear schedule other than "back-to-school" shopping and all that entails. I'm just enjoying the freedom of having nothing to do for a few weeks. I did consider getting a temp job while I'm here to make some extra money but the more I think about it, the less appealing it sounds. This is the longest (and possibly only time) I will be spending at home this entire year so I really don't want to be spending part of it working. I might change my mind on that but for right now, I am just going to enjoy the freedom and the peace. I'm not going to let myself get stressed out or worried about money or how I am going to pay for school or the fact that I need to somehow come up with almost $7,000 in the next few weeks in order to have fall semester paid for. I'm simply putting it in God's hands and trusting that he will provide. He knows my needs and he will make it all work out in His (and my) favor. I'm really trusting God on this one so here's hoping he doesn't let me down.
Right now, things feel really weird for me. I have my own bedroom again in a house with air conditioning and there aren't five other people in the house all the time. It's weird how hard it is proving to be to readjust myself to the old life that I had before moving. Guess that just proves how much this past year really did change me. I'm not gonna lie, I'm really missing Chicago and my fellow Faith House people and my co-workers at the church and the people I met and the many, many friends I made there. I'm trying my best not to dwell on what I left behind and instead live in the present and appreciate my time here among family and friends and all those who have supported me over the last year and also looking forward to the future and what I have coming up, namely California. It's gonna be a great experience, I know it is but that doesn't mean I can't still "mourn" for what I left behind. I will always carry a part of Chicago with me.
This brings me to my last point. This is not my last blog post. I will still continue to blog during the duration of my time in the Lone Star State. However, I do have some big plans for this blog so you may see some changes to it over the next few weeks. Keep following me and I will keep you updated on that. Trust me, you are gonna want to keep reading this blog even though my time as a YAV is officially over. It will be worth your time, I promise you.