<![CDATA[The Travelling Arts - United States]]>Wed, 02 Mar 2016 07:14:47 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Travelling Back]]>Thu, 20 Aug 2015 21:49:30 GMThttp://pgbtravellingarts.weebly.com/united-states/travelling-back
          My most recent art project at Ten Thousand Homes was to organize a group of people to paint this wall on our front drive way. It was a strange experience. Not only was this the first art project I was overseeing (not painting) on the base, but it was finished right before I left for my First Home, America, for two months.
          Leaving South Africa for just this short amount of time has been insanely harder than I thought it would ever be. Without me realizing it at all, I have fallen so deeply in love with that place. The people I've met and the things I have experienced while in Africa have wrapped strong, loving roots around my soul. I will never be the same from the experiences I've had in the past year. I knew I wouldn't be the same going into this, but I never knew that I would have both the wonderful and the painful experience of having HOME be in two different places. When you have a home in more than one place, you always feel welcome. Yet you also feel like something's slightly missing. Like it's never going to be quite perfect. It's difficult to process that fact, because you think your life would be much easier to ignore these feelings. But these feelings build up over time, and soon they explode. You so strongly feel happiness and sadness at the same time that you really have no idea what to do. And then when you have to actually leave one place and go to the next, it is the strangest thing to go through. As I left South Africa for the states, I dreaded going to America. I dreaded leaving the people I had just started to become so close to. I knew that I would miss a lot in those two months being away from White River. I was scared to see what had changed a lot in the States, and to show others how much I had changed. I was worried about have to process all these feelings at once. I knew that some people would understand me, but many couldn't understand me simply because they had not had a similar experience. And at the same exact time, I was ecstatic to go home. I couldn't wait to see my family. I was so happy that so soon I would be able to roam around the Farm with my Dad and my dog, that I could help my Mom fix dinner, that I could have adventures around the city with my Sisters. I was so excited to share my stories with those who were interested. I started to process all of these things days before I left South Africa, but I don't think anything can prepare a person for going back their birthplace after changing so much personally.
         As I left TTH, I remember seeing this wall and what it said. As I was leaving, it was blaring out to me, WELCOME HOME. In some ways it made me feel like I wasn't supposed to leave. Those words made me feel wrong to be going, even though it would be for such a short time. Yet there was also a certain comfort in it. As I left, I knew those two simple words would be waiting for me. And the people who represent those words would be waiting as well. And so going back to my First Home didn't feel so hard or so strange. It felt like the right thing to do. I felt like I was needing to do this.
          I'm not going to lie. Being back in the States has been really hard. I've had reverse culture shock so much more than the culture shock which I experienced when I first arrived in South Africa. Everything has been hard to adjust to. It's hard for me to talk with people in the same way. Sometimes I feel like I'm settling into my shy old self who I used to be. Some days I really don't feel like pursuing all of the things that I need to do. Other days I get so caught up in America's whirlwind of agendas and commercialism, that I get completely overwhelmed. The list could go on and on of the weird feelings and things I experience daily. Some things really aren't even a big deal, but to my heart and my brain, those things are huge mountains I have to climb.
          It's very easy for me to see all of the bad things here and the good things in South Africa. So I must make a choice. Each day I must realize that both HOMES have good things and bad things. Both places contain beautiful cultures with both great strengths and downfalls. They each have their fair share of injustices which happen daily. In both places lie wonderful family and friends with amazing stories. Both countries also contain strangers with these same crazy, amazing stories. And those people are worth finding, worth loving, worth knowing. Both countries contain amazing geology, which so evidently points to God's design. Each place is a wonderful place TO BELONG TO. Each day I must remember and process these things. I must remind myself that I have two homes now. It is different. It is strange. It is hard. And I love it so much.

I want to say that this post was written from a certain point of view.
Please understand where it comes from.
It is not to condemn certain people or places.
It is not to throw a pity party.
It is not to exaggerate or make people feel sorry for me.
 It is a blog that I wrote simply to force my brain to process all of these things.
It is also for other people who are experiencing similar things
to read, to find comfort, and to gain understanding.

And for myself, this travel blog about the States is to remind myself that my First Home is amazing. 
It contains so much diversity and beauty. That beauty is worth finding!