Nebraska has welcomed me back with its loving arms.
A week ago today I stepped off the plane to greet girlfriend and family in the Omaha airport. It felt like home right away. The city, the streets, the food, the relationships. I was sleepy on the drive back to Lincoln, but my sweet girlfriend bore with me as I conversed through the fatigue, and the next day woke up in a town where everything was very much the same and familiar as when I'd left two and a half months earlier.
But even though it feels familiar, it doesn't feel the same because I don't feel the same. In fact, I feel profoundly different.
My first two days back I woke up at 6:40 am and 7:50 am. I remarked to friends how much I loved jet lag because I was getting up and being so productive. Two solid cups of coffee. A few chapters in a book. A little bit of writing. Cleaning the house. Unpacking. I've been nesting.
I've hardly touched my Playstation since I got home. I haven't been interested in video games or Netflix, formerly a daily pursuit of mine. I went on the library website and reserved a book instead.
My interactions with people have been different.. completely. In fact, I feel like I don't even recognize myself before.
I don't know what this all means, yet, but I think when you have an experience of rapid growth where you're challenged anew every day, looking back on your prior persona makes you feel foreign.
Not only was this an opportunity for me to travel and experience the world, but it was doubly meaningful to reconnect with my family. I've found resonances with Paul, Nancy, and Naomi that I didn't know existed, and these resonances have given me a greater sense of identity.
And they have changed me.
I hope you as my friends will bear with me to see what I'm about now. You might have a better insight than me into how I'm different. If there is one thing I did miss in Japan, it's you. Nebraska truly is the good life.
I've got some new irons in my fire. I'm excited, enthusiastic, and thankful.
To all those of you who came around me in Japan, I thank you. To those of you who received me back home, I thank you. I hope that it is as deep a pleasure for you to know me as it is for me to know you.
I have two homes now.