So after a telephone conversation with my grandmother yesterday -
Grandma: (Telephone Rings) Hello?
Me: Hi, Grandma! It's Becca!
Grandma:........Where are you?
Me: I'm in Carson City!
Grandma:........Well how did you get there?
- I decided that I had better post another blog stat, so at least if I die my family knows where to come looking for my body.
I have finally returned to the States. I'm staying with friends in Seattle until I can find a place of my own and working in a somewhat monotonous but well-paying job at King County. Honestly, I'm not really sure what it is I do, except that it involves making lots of copies and playing around with MS Word. I've sent out my grad school applications, and have little to do but twiddle my thumbs while I wait to hear back on them in February or March.
In order to stave off the boredom of everyday life, to which I am not yet re-accustomed and with which I have never really been able to make my peace, I have subjected myself to yet another trip on an airplane. This time I'm on a weekend jaunt to my hometown of Carson City, Nevada, to "celebrate" Christmas with my brother (and yes I use the term loosely, my brother isn't exactly the most jovial Christmas celebrator ever, and Carson City isn't really a place that anyone would purposely go to celebrate anything). I've found that I've become more or less Zen about the whole airplane experience; while other people in the airport were freaking out about weather-delayed flights and the holiday crowds, I just shrugged, yawned, and fell asleep with the hood of my ski jacket covering my face. I wanted to stand on a chair and yell out the story of my last flight to Beijing, just for the purpose of telling people to chill out and that things could be worse, but to be honest I'm not sure anyone would have believed me anyway. The funny thing is that I don't really see my indifference as a good thing. I used to get so excited about flying that I couldn't sleep the night before a trip. Now I'm so used to it that even trips to China seem run-of-the-mill.
Flying into Reno was a strange experience, driving into Carson even more so. I rarely come home, and when we were hovering at 10,000 feet over the airport I suddenly felt like I couldn't breathe, like I was trying to squeeze into a pair of jeans I owned when I was twelve and have since massively outgrown. I've changed so much in the six years since I've been back to Carson that when I came back it was more like visiting a dream than it was returning to a past reality. Things haven't changed all that much, but I can't remember how to get anywhere or where to go to find anything. It's like I'm going back to someone else's past, and the feeling creeps me out. If this is someone else's past, then where is mine? If you don't have a past, can you even really exist? And isn't it a little strange that I feel more comfortable going to Shanghai than I do to my own home town?
Home....what a strange word. It has so many meanings that we never think about until we realize that we don't really have one, no matter how you define it.
Nate and I did, however, make the trek out to Fallon (if you don't know where it is, don't bother looking, it isn't worth the effort) to visit our grandparents yesterday, and had a nice visit. Pa was sick, but he says he's doing better now than he was before, so we pray for his quick recovery from whatever bug it is that's ailing him.
For all the complaining I do, I am grateful that my brother and his wife had me over for what would otherwise have been a very lonely Christmas for me, and I'm looking forward to a day of presents, navigating my way around the non-vegan food, and spending time with family members who I rarely see. It's not a white Christmas with a thousand people huddled around a huge tree and a fireplace, which is what I was really craving for the holidays (yet another definition of the word "home," I guess), but at least I'm with people that I love for Christmas.