I have been home for almost 3 months. And for a while I couldn’t call the US, Texas or Dallas “home”. Rather, I would call being here as “stateside” which felt distant but how I felt. I was not sure how I would relate back to the culture or those around me. Being in Dallas, TX creates such a contrast to Phnom Penh, Cambodia in most ways so allowing myself to integrate back into this setting seemed like an insult to all I learned and experienced abroad. I cherish my time in Cambodia. I cannot say enough of what I have loved from the people, food, culture and way of life. Yes. There are aspects of the lifestyle/beliefs/norms that I clashed with… no place is perfect. But, goodness, did I enjoy the simplicity of my day-to-day. The breeze I would create when driving my moto. Walking down the street from work to grab a cheap bowl of Pho. Saturday’s in the market, meandering through the narrow lanes, bartering for fabric in Khmer (at least attempting to). Most importantly and dearly missed are the people. My friends at work, the ladies from church and my housemates. These were my family away from home and became the support, confidants and goofballs I would call ‘my people’.
I am now able to remember and love what my time in Cambodia was for me while absorbing the goodness that being back in Texas and with friends and family has brought. God has without a doubt met me where I was, arriving at DFW airport and unsure how the next few days, weeks and months would unfold. The friends I have been reunited with and introduced in Dallas has reassured me that there has been as much purpose for my time abroad as my time now. I have been traveling and living for short stints in various states and countries since graduating undergrad. I find great joy in exploring new places and different cultures. Each trip shows me more of the diversity and beauty in the world while teaching me about myself in deep ways. With all the goodness the has come from the transitoriness, I am now looking forward to a different adventure that has me more grounded and looking deeper into the ways I want to learn and impact the communities around me.
With that said, I will be going to graduate school this coming Fall for Social Work master’s program at UT Austin. It has been in my mind since undergrad and has finally been confirmed this is the time. It will in know way be an easy next step but good and timely. I haven’t shared on this platform in a while and there have been many transitions I have been going through since returning home. This is just a little update that I hope those I don’t see or talk with daily can read and know how I love each of you. Distance can be a painful reality. The world is just too dang big and I haven’t heard of teleportation being possible… yet. So until I get to each of you next, know that my mind swirls with dreams of visiting each state and country that you each live in.