Maybe this was why everyone sympathized when they heard the news, when they knew I was coming back, with no plans to return to the US. They knew I had to cross a bridge and burn it. I might come back the same way, but no matter what, it and I would be different.
Others may have experienced this before, my trials (cost of living! find a job! a good job, that isn't drudgery, that pays well! find friends to hang out with!) commmonplace...but I still feel so alone.
Alone is bringing your toiletries back into your room after you're done in the toilet.
Alone is smiling and strength on the outside, but yearning for someone, someplace that feels right and not finding it.
I have faced alone before. I have survived, and gone on. I will again.
I only fear a lowering of standards and expectations, a shrinking of worldview, a changing of my whole self in order to feel like I'm doing well. Re-orienting the limits of my world, so I can be a central figure in it again.
I have to remember, in absolute terms, I'm still doing swimmingly. Even in terms relative to those I know (which can be a dangerous comparison), I'm not doing so bad.
But to feel so absolutely friendless, so bereft of a close old soul, I have not felt this for years - not since starting LPC (which was a lot offset by the excitement of a new environment) and starting Scripps (ditto) and going to London (ditto). I think this is just the biggest challenge because it feels like a step down, not up or sideways; this is a terrain trodden and yet difficult to my unaccustomed feet, and for once in my life I don't know where I'm going. I don't know what tomorrow brings.
The tension, between futures great and mediocre, hangs in the balance, and the string is taut in my mind.
I must remember I have a choice - I can keep that string tight, worry it obsessively, never let my eyes off the goal lest it run away from me.
Or I can let it slack - remember that I am more than a job and a paycheck, that I have other dreams and self-development goals - and only ask to manage the trouble each day can bring. And for the strength to answer the call, and the challenges, of each day.
The latter way has its disadvantages (less long-term planning, perhaps?) but I think that's a better way to live.
I'll try to do that from now on.
All good things come from real struggle, and creating a new life here (or anywhere) is no different.