Monday, July 1, 2013

I Don't Ever Want To Leave This Town

Somewhere between sobbing at the airport in Houston and seriously regretting my decision to move to Honduras while driving past the lake in August and shooting off fireworks while saying our goodbyes in June, I have completely fallen in love with living in Siguatepeque.

It's a slow, slooooooow paced life. But it's MY life. A life that includes Spanish and catcalls and baleadas and a motorcycle. And 50 wild, spunky, energetic, children who wear me out while simultaneously bringing so much joy to my life.

My love for Siguatepeque and my love for my students is calling me back for another year. I'll be resuming my position as the Grade One and Two teacher, but hopefully I have things a little more figured out this time around. In our education classes at Ashland, our professors always told us that we shouldn't smile until October. At the time, I thought it was crazy. But now I see the truth behind it. Sorry guys, but there's going to be a new Miss Caitlin in town.

While I have only been home for four days, I am stuck in a weird place of missing one of my homes, trying to enjoy my original home, and anticipating my return trip home. It's difficult to explain to those who have not experienced it, as well as somewhat hurtful. I lived in Ohio for 21 year and all of a sudden I'm incredibly homesick for a country that I have only lived in for 10 months. There's an article What Happens When You Live Abroad which accurately portrays how I've been feeling these past couple of days.

At first, the article seemed really harsh. I may have cried upon reading and thinking that I would never fit in anywhere ever again. I was going to be some weird, wandering nomad for the rest of my life. And I had chosen that lifestyle for myself. After finishing a year in Honduras, though, I can better relate to the author and would agree 100%. Without tears.

My favorite part?

"So you look at your life, and the two countries that hold it, and realize that you are now two distinct people. As much as your countries represent and fulfill different parts of you and what you enjoy about life, as much as you have formed unbreakable bonds with people you love in both places, as much as you feel truly at home in either one, so you are divided in two. For the rest of your life, or at least it feels this way, you will spend your time in one naggingly longing for the other, and waiting until you can get back for at least a few weeks and dive back into the person you were back there. It takes so much to carve out a new life for yourself somewhere new, and it can’t die simply because you’ve moved over a few time zones. The people that took you into their country and became your new family, they aren’t going to mean any less to you when you’re far away.

When you live abroad, you realize that, no matter where you are, you will always be an ex-pat. There will always be a part of you that is far away from its home and is lying dormant until it can breathe and live in full color back in the country where it belongs. To live in a new place is a beautiful, thrilling thing, and it can show you that you can be whoever you want — on your own terms. It can give you the gift of freedom, of new beginnings, of curiosity and excitement. But to start over, to get on that plane, doesn’t come without a price. You cannot be in two places at once, and from now on, you will always lay awake on certain nights and think of all the things you’re missing out on back home."

Ohio and Honduras. Two very different places. Two places that will hold my heart forever.