The Questions have started.
“How are you adjusting back, Elise?”
“How was your experience, Elise?”
“What kinds of people did you meet, Elise?”
“Isn’t poverty terrible? I’m sure you saw lots of that!”

What am I supposed to say??
“Adjusting is…difficult, because I’m struggling with the pro side to materialism…”
“My experience was life-changing because I learned how deeply I can love, and the chasm left by that love…”
“I met people in their own environments, in their own home, in their own culture, and surprise! They look like us…”
“I did not see poverty, however, I saw lots of people who were surviving, and people who chose their ‘poverty’ over something they felt was corrupt…”
I don’t know if I’m ready yet, for these questions. Mainly because I feel my answers could be considered a ‘burn’, if you know what I mean, Dear Reader. And to be true, I’ve been asked the “How was your experience” question at least 5 times at church today, and every time, I came up with a different adjective. And, a different reason for that adjective.
In our “Re-Entry” workshops we did right before returning home, it was more or less decided as a group that we didn’t want to shrink our experiences down to a word–what an insult that would be! And here I am, trying to find a sentence or two that conveys my extreme passion for the trip, outlines my experiences, and does justice to the people I met. Haven’t come up with one yet, big surprise.
What’s worse, every single time I see someone new who just discovered I was away for a semester (courtesy of my wonderful mother, who is just so excited that I’m back she wants to tell the world…) they ask the same questions. And every time they begin to ask, my stomach muscles actually tighten up with anxiety. I’ve never been prone to anxiety attacks in their formidable stages, but I really feel uncomfortable.
Regardless, I’m almost trying to make myself face people I know, because it isn’t fair to them if I hide out for a month. But I’m trying to reveal myself one step at a time, and to specific people.
Writing really does help; I feel much less conflicted in the mental area (although the emotional conflict continues to rage…).
I hope everyone has a wonderful night, and I promise, eventually I’ll start writing happy again. Just, now, I need to analyze.
Good night!

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