TL 15 “There’s No Place like Home? Rites of Reincorporation” by Kait Shortell Oxford, CT

Reincorporation I think has been the part of the Rites of Passage that I have felt most unsure about. I knew that separation would be rough, and I looked forward too the liminal stage, but reincorporation posed some hesitation for me, especially after I had come to love the liminal stage so much. Unfortunately, having my study abroad experience cut short by the events that occurred in Paris about a month ago, I knew immediately that my reincorporation would not be easy; because I wasn’t anywhere near ready to leave my liminal state. I have been home for quite some time and I have been struggling to reincorporate, my mind-set had to be changed very quickly, and I had no real time to prepare for it; though I did try my best to do everything I could to have a healthy separation from my new home in Paris. Of course coming home and seeing my family and friends was incredible, and I loved getting to hug every single one of them. But, I haven’t really felt any affirmation of the change and growth that occurred with in me. At first, I felt frustrated that it seemed no one understood, and I asked myself, how could they not understand? While in Paris, I kept a journal that I wrote in almost everyday. After being home for a few weeks I went back and looked at it. As I read through some of the things I wrote, I realized that a lot of the change and growth that happened in Paris, was very much within me. In that sense, of course my family and friends would not outwardly notice this difference, and it isn’t something I needed them to affirm. It was personal growth that I was aware of, and that is what was most important. There were so many ‘gems’, as Slimbach calls them that I learned in Paris, which I will carry forward with me. I learned how to be flexible when put in situations I wasn’t prepared for, or that were far from ideal, and how to handle them. I also learned that I am more then capable of being on my own. And most importantly, I learned a new appreciation for the world and the people that live in it. This experience has opened my eyes so much to the world around me, and how much there is to learn, and how incredible it is to discover new cultures and how their lifestyles differ from mine. I think after being home, the biggest “stream to divert” will be the small-town mindset that is so easy to get into living in Oxford, Connecticut. I feel like it is so easy to get wrapped up in my life at home, especially with how busy I can get. I don’t want to get stuck in that mindset where I forget there is an entire world surrounding me. I want to keep the awareness that I learned and talked about in the last travel log. As I’ve been writing this travel log, I keep looking at this mScreen Shot 2015-12-19 at 1.31.50 PMap I have framed on the wall in my room. It’s a map of the world, and there is a gold foil over every continent, and country. Every time I go
somewhere new, I can scratch off the gold foil of the place I visited, and it is a bright color underneath. I love having this map. It is a constant reminder everyday of my study
abroad experience, and all of the lessons I learned, and how much I have yet to learn about thevastness of the earth we live on. I
t’s also a great reminder of how much traveling and adventures I have waiting for me in the future

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