"and... i had two contrasting feelings.
one was complete happiness, as if i was back in a comfortable place
with people i knew and who knew me.
the other feeling was complete and overwhelming homesickness.
it was as if the two feelings were taking turns,
and i was waiting to see which one would win."
-- bloomability, sharon creech
my three-month theory about exchange -- the idea that after three months, you are exchanging "for real" and you are more than just a tourist-- isn't exactly a secret. that is, it's not anything particularly special or brilliant or life-changing. it's just a theory, a theory that happens to hold true for a lot of things; after 100 days (a little longer than three months), you have to change.
and so i shouldn't have been surprised when, yesterday, i hit my one hundred days.
but i still was.
people laugh, sometimes, when i say that i'm homesick. they think i'm being funny on purpose. but the thing is-- i AM homesick. i'm homesick for places i've explored and languages i've heard and people that i've loved, because to me switzerland is home.
i'm sorry if that sounds ridiculously stupid.
(actually, i'm not sorry.)
(go on exchange yourself and then come back and tell me it sounds stupid to call your host country home. I DARE YOU.)
at the same time, i love oregon. i never realized how much i HAD missed my life here until i came back... because here, as well, are places i've explored and languages i've heard and people that i love. even though i hated the US when I first got back, coming home forced me to recognize that portland, oregon, is home as well.
and i've missed it.
more than eleven months ago, i was sitting on my bed exulting in the fact that i was finally more than a tourist. more than a visitor in a foreign land. more than some random weird crazy girl who didn't belong.
and now here i sit, and i'm posting this because i'm finally, finally, FINALLY more than a tourist. more than a visitor in my own land.
because finally i am someone who feels,
in her own random weird crazy way,
that she belongs.