Friday, August 26, 2011

The Double Life: A Visit Home

Let me introduce you to the half of my double life that I visited during my vacation. It surprised me how quickly I settled back into it and how easily old routines emerged. I had known that I was learning a lot about myself basically living a double life away from home, but something my mom mentioned during a drive from California back up to Oregon resonated. She explained how much she learns about herself with each trip to California to visit her family. It wasn't immediately after, but as my time in the U.S. grew short and my reflective switch turned on, I noticed the same was true for me during my visit home. I learned that I'm over a lot of internal and external conflict that I had previously though still bothered me, but not over some things that I had previously forgotten.

Most importantly, though, I got my dosage of my friends, family, and animals. A wedding, two birthday, BBQs, nights out and in, Margarita dates, homemade Thai food, coffee times, dog walks, hikes, etc. filled my three weeks that once seemed would be too short, but that turned out to be satisfactory (of course, I would have appreciated more time). On my last night, I remember coming home from a BBQ with my friends and thinking how wonderful they make me feel. Then I began packing and saw the perfectly folded shirt that my mom had mended and already packed for me. An enormous wave of gratitude swept over me. I forget it sometimes and to others it may not be obviouse, but I do have the perfect family and the perfect friends and  this was the most valuable reminder I took from a wonderful vacation to the missed half of my double life.I think I'm ready to continue with the half that takes place in Korea and really hope that the two converge every now and then.

Some of my favorite photos:

A wedding! Of someone special <3

One of the people I missed the most with one of the things I missed the most.

Sauvie Island with best friends. Doesn't get better than lounging on a beach.

Since high school; it's absolutely crazy.

One of the best hikes of my life with the uncle on Brokeoff Mounta, Lassen Nat. Park.

3 generations. Two of the strongest, most beautiful women I know.

Reunion of graduate school girlfriends.

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