As I write this, I am sitting in a coffee shop in Nashville, TN. The month of July is almost over and that means Remote Year ended two months ago. All my previous blog posts have been about my life on Remote Year, this one is the first about my post Remote Year life.
I arrived back in the USA on Memorial Day. My parents picked me up. I was tired. They were excited to see me and I was excited to see them too. We went to my favorite breakfast spot, and enjoyed each other’s company. They had a bunch of questions. I did my best to answer them. Later that day, my other family members came over to my parents’ house for dinner. It was good to see everyone. I got to meet my nephew who was born in January. I met my brother’s new girlfriend. I saw my niece, who grew like a weed since I last saw her in December. The first day was over and I was exhausted and got a good night’s sleep. I got in Monday, and spent Tuesday and Wednesday hanging out, eating food I had not had for a year and squeezing in a round of golf. The Thursday of that week, would find me back on the road. My Dad, Brother, and I headed to my family's cottage in Michigan to spend a weekend playing golf with family and friends. This is something my family has organized for several years, and something I have participated in for several years in a row, but had to miss last year since I was gone. I would get to see my uncle’s, cousin’s, and friends that I have not seen for a while. This was good for the soul, and was a great first weekend back.
After that weekend, it was time to get back to normal, or whatever that now was. I went into my office and worked. I rented a car. I had dinner with friends. I ate more food I haven’t had in a while. I answered more questions. I hung out with friends. I met my best friends first child. I met my other friends first child. I met my college roommates second child. All in all, 7 of my friends and family had children when I was gone and I got to meet them all upon my return. I slept in guest rooms, and on couches. It was great to see people and catch up. It was also unsettling. I was all over the place. I was both lost and home. I spent a year traveling the world, with people who were up for anything, in places where I never knew what would happen next. Suddenly, that was over, and I was back to the place that I had spent most my life in. The place that drove me to get out of my comfort zone and move to Nashville in 2011, and do Remote Year in 2016. In my head, I had hoped it would change. The people would be different. They would want to do things differently, like my travel mates on Remote Year. They didn’t. I felt like a stranger. At times, even more so than times on Remote Year in foreign countries. This made me not feel like me and had a negative impact on different areas of my life.
I must say, coming back to the United States after Remote Year was a lot harder than I thought. It is a feeling of going through something that very few people have experienced, and then having to try and explain it in some way to people who will never really understand what it is like. I should have known it wouldn’t be easy, but I think I was too caught up in all the emotions that came with such a special year ending. Especially one that contained so many memories, and adventures that some people don’t even get to experience their whole life. I was in a bad place. I had dark thoughts. I knew I needed to do something about it.
Luckily, I had the foresight during the last month of Remote Year that I would need to get out of Arizona. I planned to spend the month of July in Nashville. I booked an Airbnb. The month would be spent evaluating myself, and processing the last year, cutting back on social media, mediating, working out, eating healthy and working on how I want my future to look. I wish I could say that I have everything figured out after 27 days, but I don’t. I have made progress during my time in Nashville. I have done some writing. I don’t have a job yet, but I am trying. I am going to stay here for a couple months. I am going to do some traveling and meet up with some of my Remote Year people. I’m trying to shape my future. I want my future to involve something that will allow me to use my creative skills to help make the people around me and the world better in some way. I don’t know how that looks just yet, it is a work in process, but I need help. I am seeking that help. I need to improve my self-confidence. I have done a good job identifying my weaknesses, but I need more help. The things I am doing are good to do, but they aren’t getting me to the next level. I am hoping to change that. Stay tuned, until next time, peace and love.