I really love this place.
It feels strange, but good. I've forgotten certain things. I wandered around our kitchen for ten minutes this morning trying to remember where the toaster was. I did a sink full of dishes by hand before being reminded we have a dishwasher. I text like someone many decades older than I am. My closet feels overwhelming.
As the mom of a dear friend said to me the other evening, "there is no in between." You're either there, or you're here. I went from being so on my own, on a long year in places so far, to being completely and utterly home. You're either away or you're not. There is no in between.
I was worried everything would feel the same when I got back, and that this would bother me because I wanted more tangible proof that this year happened. But I'm finding that actually everything feels really different, even just the way I move about these familiar spaces.
It's been a nice few days. Driving around Vermont with my Dad, satisfying culinary cravings at farmers' markets and berry farms, painstakingly unpacking boxes I had sent home throughout the year, folding old clothes from high school and driving them to Goodwill.
I hadn't realized until now, being home and in a different mode, just how much energy the whole Watson persona took. Even when there were moments I felt comfortable and relaxed, you can't "turn off" in the same way when you're traveling solo and responsible for everything. I hadn't fully realized what a different norm that was. Merging these different ways of being in the world is my new challenge.
I'm in Burlington all too briefly. Early Thursday morning I fly out again, this time to Wisconsin, for the returning fellows conference. I'll get to meet the 39 other Watson fellows who have had their own journeys and experiences and adventures. I'll be back on Sunday and then early Monday morning, I'll head up to Prince Edward Island, Canada to join the rest of my family (and my beloved friend Hadley) in our traditional summer setting.
I'm not quite sure about the fate of this blog, but I will say that (for your sake, and mostly for mine), I'm not going to quit cold turkey. I'll let you know how the conference goes and how settling back in here feels, but posts will be more sporadic.
In the meantime, I have a lot of catching up to do.