I didn't know for sure that I would be coming home until about ten minutes before the flight from O'hare left the gate for Sea-Tac. But that's exactly what happened. So I'm back in Seattle.
First impressions: Look at this picture. This is my room. I have way too much stuff. Part of it is all the things I sent back home, some of it is mail that piled up while I was gone, some of it is stuff I never sorted out after coming home from college. The rest is just me having too much stuff. You look at the amount of stuff you own differently when for a year and a half, all your worldly possessions fit in a 55-liter bag.
I was looking forward to wearing stuff I haven't been wearing every day for a year and a half. But none of it feels right. It looks funny. I feel funny wearing it.
But my first few minutes in my room were... well, I felt like I was somewhere more foreign than I'd been in years. What is all this stuff? Who was this mysterious person who owned and arranged it all? He's disappeared, and nobody has heard from him for a long time. But I did remember something he did. He wrote a note on his old laptop. For me.
I found the old Compaq in a backpack in my closet. At first it didn't want to boot up, giving checksum errors, and the power giving out completely halfway through the little windows XP splash screen. I went into the BIOS, fixed the clock, got the charger plugged in more securely, and booted. It was very slow. But on the desktop was a little word file. "Letter to self.doc"
I didn't expect it to be so sad. Some of it's pretty personal, so I won't go into details, but there's a lot of uncertainty. Nowadays, I think that's exciting. But this was a letter of doubts, written by a lonely guy. It's signed "I hope you’re a better man than I am. I’m sure you are. Good luck in whatever you choose to do next." I just want to go back in time and give the poor guy a hug.
But if there's one thing I came home or, it's my family, and I've already seen all five of my amazing nieces, both my siblings and siblings-in-law, and of course, my parents. I've eaten the pac nw oysters and dungeness crab cakes I've been craving for months. And I have some very big plans for my immediate future. But this blog isn't about that, is it?
I'm going to need some more time to adjust. It's all very intense, new and old all at the same time. I'm excited to be back to get started on sorting out my past and future. I'll have a lot more to say here once I've adjusted and am able to process things. But there's a lot I want to say with this next entry. Figure out some take home thing for what happens after you go around the world. Say something from what I've learned. But I'm going to need a few days to process the here and now before I can reflect on what I've done and where I've been on this adventure. When I do, I'll have something worthwhile for you. So do check back.