So, amazingly enough, it is October; I thought it was still like the middle of September. So, yeah, this post is a little later than I wanted it to be. We are finally getting back into a routine, but it has been so hard to get to that point. When we left Bulgaria, I was, of course, devastated, but I figured that it would all be fine by the time I got home. However, it did not go down as I anticipated. As y’all witnessed in that first blog post when we got to Bulgaria, I had a bad case of culture shock. I absolutely love the country now, but it definitely took me a while to get used to everything. However, what I was not aware of was the fact that I would have culture shock by being back in America. When we landed in SC, it was already dark, so I did not see much of anything. The next morning, though, we had a bunch of errands and had to see a lot of people. Besides the obvious lack of a language barrier, being back surprised me in many ways. We were only gone for two weeks, but it had felt like years. I felt like everything about me had changed because of the experience. The thing was everything at home is exactly the same. Traffic is still insane on the way to work. My old manager and I still awkwardly talk everytime I go to the ice rink. I still live in the same house that has seven beds but only five residents. 

It was a hard dichotomy to get over for awhile, and I still have moments where it hits me. I will be in the middle of a conversation with one of my friends and randomly trail off because I am thinking about how weird it is not to have a translator. I cannot hold a full conversation without mentioning Bulgaria at least once. I no longer feel like I can have a productive conversation because I can never fully focus on the other person. I knew that it would be hard to leave these kids, but I thought that that pain would be over quickly. I have had my fair share of mood swings, but only a very small percentage of them have been because of a goodbye. I have not had any practice with the long-term heartbreak of a goodbye. Because of this,  I cannot for the life of me get out of my own head about it. I cannot not think about those two kids who are going to school right now half a world away. This past Wednesday was the first time in over a month that I was able to have a lot of fun without feeling guilty that the rest of my siblings were not there. We went up to Charleston for the day with some good friends, and I got to just shop. I do not know about you, but shopping is very therapeutic for me! My goal was to not mention Bulgaria at all during the day. That was a little ambitious, so I did not completely make it. However, I only talked about the trip about two times, and only thought about it once or twice outside of that. So, I claimed it as a success!

I do not want to forget about those kids, and I do not plan to, but I cannot live like I have been for any longer. I doubt that they will ever care about, much less read, these blog posts. If they ever do, though, I hope that they will know that I love them more than anything in this world, but I cannot do anything to change this process or make it go faster; we are going to be apart no matter what I do. I have to focus on my school which I have not had the attention span for, my skating which I have not been practicing, and my friends who I have been practically ignoring. I guess what I am trying to say is that I am wholeheartedly onboard with this process, but I cannot let it consume me. So, hello to October and a goal I never thought I would have with this process!


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