Last night I looked through my 649 pictures of my blitz through Europe in anticipation of showing them to my friend who has recently come back to Greenville to finish college. As I looked through them, a wave of something like homesickness washed over me, and I thought, “How can I be homesick for a place that I only spent one week in?” But the answer is simple.
Before I went to London, I was dead to intercultural thoughts and feelings. I had interacted with other cultures before but only because those cultures came to me. I had never gone out to seek another culture. And when I did, I found that I loved it. And when I came back to America, I felt lost. I felt lost again last night.
I got in my bed and was antsy. I was tired but not tired enough to actually sleep. I could stay up and read, but my brain did not want to focus. Yesterday, my world changed. I’m staying in the same place, relatively speaking. I’m still living in my apartment. I still work for the same university, although my role has shifted. I’m still studying theater. I still have my friendly electric blanket. But yesterday I got to meet some of my students. *I have students!* How can I possibly have students? I remember being exactly where they are. Terrified. Lonely. Excited. Disappointed. Encouraged. Overwhelmed. I remember where they are because I’m still there.
I don’t have my life all together. I still struggle with fear of the unknown. I struggle with change. I struggle with having joy. But maybe that’s why I am where God has placed me: to build a bridge. To reach my students on the other side. To love them. To live in the middle of where they live. And even though I feel as though I have lost something, perhaps I will find that truly my loss is gain.