Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Coming "Home"

Preemptive Note: The first half of this post was actually written in the airport between flights on my way home, when I was feeling rather philosophical.  The second half was written tonight, as I recline in my bed rather tired after the first day back to school.  You may notice a distinct difference in writing style.  Enjoy.

I lead two lives.
I have a life in Wisconsin.  And I have a life in Puerto Rico.  Of course there’s some overlap; people coming to visit, chats via skype, etc.  But it’s strange how separate the two lives feel. 
When I came home for Christmas, the moment I stepped off the plane in Minneapolis, it felt as though I had left Puerto Rico behind me, in a dream world that didn’t really exist unless I was there.  It felt, as I wrote three weeks ago, like stepping back into real life.
Friday morning, as I watched the sun rise on the eastern horizon as my plane made its way from Minneapolis to Milwaukee, I felt I had already left my Wisconsin life behind, and Puerto Rico is my real life. 
Of course I know both lives are real, and it’s natural that wherever I am should feel like real life.  If I went around feeling constantly like I were living a dream, I would probably need psychological attention.  I don’t; I am proud to say I can still quite easily differentiate between fact and fiction. 

It is amazing to me how similar and different this flight to Puerto Rico is from the first time I made the journal.

The same: Because I had an early morning flight from Minneapolis, I again stayed overnight beforehand at a hotel with shuttle service to the airport.  It was the same hotel that I stayed at in July before my flight.  Like that night, I didn’t sleep well.  Though I slipped into bed at 9:17pm, setting my alarm for 4:00am, I tossed and turned and never managed to stay asleep for more than an hour throughout the night.  Like that night, it wasn’t nerves that kept me up, but excitement.

Different: There were no tears at the airport.  But then…there was also no one with me at the airport to make me cry.

Different: 2 layovers instead of just one. 

Different: During my 2nd layover, I was on the phone with the person who was picking me up at the airport, catching up on Guayama gossip and making plans to meet. 
Different: I KNEW who was picking me up at the airport, and where to go when I got off the plane, and what the car looked like that would be meeting me.

Different: As the plane descended over Puerto Rico, I picked out San Juan landmarks that I knew and places I had been. 

The same: Baggage claim was frigid, and I shivered as I waited to get my bags. 

The first night back, Kelsey and I stayed in San Juan.  We went out dancing to a salsa club and each learned a few new moves, and had an overall fantastic time.  Saturday afternoon we spent on the beach, then headed back to Guayama. 

Driving into town, and then stepping into my house, was one of the best feelings I know.  It felt…like coming home.  

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