A Strange World

We’ve been back in the States now almost two weeks and I have found this world quite strange (in an email to a friend I had mentioned it was as foreign a place as I have ever been and I even speak the language!).

I’ve noticed that each year coming back to Georgia to spend holidays with my parents that it has changed more and more as time passes. I remember when I lived in New York and telling people that I was from Georgia that they would always say that they had heard that it was a good place to raise a family and that you could buy a home and that the cost of living was low. So, each year I came back to see more new buildings (and sadly less trees…), more homes, more traffic, and more of just about everything (including pollution: I remember one summer visiting here and driving and seeing a smog alert sign, something I had never seen when growing up…).

I come back here now and think about all those people who I met in New York saying what they said about Georgia and thinking that a lot of people with that mentality must have moved here. I feel such little connection with the people I see, as if I’m standing in the same place with all these people and we’re all looking at the same things but seeing things completely differently…

Having lived in cities for the past seven years, I always find having to drive everywhere awkward. I don’t know if it is from our time in Poland and being used to walking, taking trams, or the metro there, or if it is just the fact that another year has gone by, but this year feels as strange as ever to be driving around Marietta and Atlanta. In cities where getting around by walking and public transportation are primary, I’ve found a real sense of connection with the place and the people. Driving everywhere I find the world passing by and oddly distant as I get from point A to point B with little notice of where I am, only just moving along between the lines and queuing up at the lights…

Some time having passed, I feel a bit more at ease being here but am definitely looking forward to returning to Warsaw in a little over a week. The time spent here has been very enjoyable to see friends and family, but now as December begins to wind down my attention is beginning to look forward again, to January and Warsaw, to setting and following a path, to all the work that lies ahead…

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