New Old Reality

Since returning from my long Asian adventure three months ago, I’ve submersed myself back into life in the United States. I’ve missed writing my thoughts here, but felt as though I had nothing interesting to post–after all, what’s exciting about daily life in a mid-sized American city?

Returning hasn’t been too difficult–in fact, I barely think about the trip, which is a bit disconcerting. Pittsburgh feels so normal, it’s almost as though I never left. For a few months, I was comforted by that–no re-entry difficulty and I jumped right back into the life I live with the people I love here. But now, after a few months, I’ve begun to actually reflect on my new old reality.

Five months ago, on January 14, I was at Angkor Wat, one of the world’s most famous and mystifying sites. I rented a bicycle for $1 and set off by myself to marvel at the incredible overgrown temples. I returned to Siem Reap in the evening to catch dinner with three Pittsburgh friends, and we talked about my imminent return to the United States.

Today, on June 14, I’m in an office building in downtown Pittsburgh with a 16-item to-do list, a lunch appointment, three afternoon calls, and a travel mug of coffee with coconut milk creamer. I’ve entered the world of keeping a Google calendar and wearing cardigans. I have an exercise routine of running 25 miles per week and going to Bikram yoga three times per week. I’m in bed by 11:00 every night and get a little cranky if I don’t have my oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast everyday.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s all fun and new in its own way. I’ve got a gaggle of projects–I’m development coordinator for Awamaki US, grantwriting for Procopio Fundraising, joined the board of Building New Hope, became executive director of the Pittsburgh Hostel Project, am a worker-owner of the Big Idea Bookstore, and work from the offices of Amizade. I like feeling physically healthy and strong, and the busyness is satisfying, too. But that restless urge, while tempered for a few months, is beginning to sneak back up on me. I have a few upcoming trips–a quick jaunt to Nicaragua, a ten-day bike trip through New England, two weeks in Peru–but as it stands, my future stretches out before me in Google calendar format, looking at the Pittsburgh skyline from a seventh-floor office window.

I’ve vowed to pick this blog up again, because the fact is that I DO have cool things going on–it just took me a minute to realize it. And as I hoped, my trip did influence my new old reality, and those changes are subtly present everyday. I’ll keep this blog updated on what I’m up to in my medium-term reality here in America’s Most Livable City. Promise not to yawn too much.


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