It’s time to be a bit brutally honest, take off the rose-tinted glasses and stop hiding behind the polite, British ‘everything is fine’ brave face. Because sometimes life is just hard.
My recent experience of transition back into life in Guatemala hit me like a tone of bricks and I was not ready for it.
I knew that there would be culture shock, there always is. There was even reverse culture shock when I was in the UK after being gone for so long. But this felt like culture shock on steroids. Just like when the rain comes here in Guatemala, it doesn’t just rain it pours. At times I was unable to even articulate how I was feeling, and for such a highly emotional person that was really tough. It was like all of my normal processing methods had been stripped away and I was left bare and alone, unsure of who I even was in the middle of it all. Life just happening around me, to me, but I wasn’t even there. Writing about it now I still can’t fully express what it has been like.
I had gotten used to the comfortable, cosy life I was enjoying with my parents in a beautiful pocket of Devon countryside. It felt nice to be taken care of and in a place of safety and with people who have known and loved me my whole life. You don’t realise what you are missing until you have it again and then when you have to leave it all, for a second time it’s unbelievably hard. Don’t misunderstand me, I am thrilled to be back in Guatemala, I know in the depths of my heart that this is where I am supposed to be right now. I don’t want to be anywhere else, I am just expressing, or trying to, what the transition back has been like. I spent days, weeks adjusting, relearning, understanding again, remembering, finding where I fit. It has been brutal at times, I have felt lost, not myself, uncertain, unsafe, alone, all mixed in with the joy and happiness of being back in this beautiful country. It sounds like a lot and it has been. I have no idea how I even lived in my own head these past few weeks. Thankfully in God’s strength here I am beginning to find my feet again and coming through the other side of transition. With God the light always starts to break through the clouds again.
Of course, I could spend time picking it all apart, I should have done this, or could have done that, but that kind of hind sight won’t help me in my present or to move forwards. Only God knows why it was the way it panned out and I choose to trust that there are bigger, higher reasons for it all.