Return to the land of my parents’ birth: July 24, 2008

Dear Sam,
Being back in the States is indeed insane!  I miss you and Nepal.  I’m sitting in our family friends’ house where my brother’s been staying for the summer.  Mandla (my brother) and Theodora (his girlfriend) are down at the beach (it’s a beautiful morning – already 11:24, and I’ve barely been up an hour) and I’m writing emails.  People are nice, but….  it’s not home.  The houses are so big and everything’s so clean, it’s like everything real has just been scraped away.  And I’m not like that.  You know the things about ourselves that we don’t like, the messy things that we don’t even really want other people to know, I feel like I just want to wear that on my sleeve so that I’m real, so that I know I’m real and other people know too.
My trip was fine.  I didn’t even feel sad until I was flying into LA and the land was just so different.  I wrote a little about it in my letter to you (on its way though you probably won’t get it for a while, sorry).  And today?  I dunno.  My brother’s awesome!  And he’s really making an effort to include me in all his stuff.  Perhaps I should make an effort and be like, hey, do you and Theodora want to see my photos, or some of them?  And to include myself in what they’re doing more.   Like head down to the beach.  I’m going to try to start seeing friends tonight or tomorrow.
I haven’t spoken Nepali in  almost a week.  This makes me so sad.  I just miss my life there.  I miss me there.  Sigh.  It’s a’ight.  Chuckle through tears, this is the first time I’ve sorta freaked out since I’ve been back.  Wry smile.  Aren’t you the lucky one who gets to see it?
It was wonderful staying with you those last few days!  Really.  I feel like for me those days really cemented in my mind what a good friend you are, a keeper as I like to say – someone that I want to have in my life for a long time.  And those days, spending time with you and just chilling out, really eased my departure.  So thanks!  Smile.
What about you?  How’s your departure prep going?  You leave in what, 5 days?  I forget that it’s a day later there.  Or at least half a day….  Enjoy the city.  I know you’ll be back.  Enjoy all of it.  We’re so lucky to be able to be there in the first place.  To be able to experience life differently in such an incredible part of the world.  The beauty, the color, the richness of life.  It’s so abundant.
And I think that life can be abundant here too.  I’m meeting people who are choosing to make it that way.  Who are being deliberate.  Even here in Manhattan Beach where people are dolls of themselves.  Wry smile.  And you wonder what’s beneath the perfect tan, the smooth skin, the sculpted body, the flowing hair, what’s under the brand name clothing.  Sigh.  But I think there is something under all that.  And some people aren’t interested in that either.  Some people are interested in life and living it fully. It’s just different.  And it’ll take getting used to.
Anyhoo, this email has gotten longer than I meant for it to be.  Thanks for listening.  Always.

About Thandiwe

Hopeful cynic, creative, seriously silly, lover of people and places, hypocrite, third-culture kid, queer, life-long learner, white woman, Christ follower, outdoor enthusiast: I am a seeker of justice and truth who has re-found my spiritual home in progressive Christianity. I serve as the Associate Pastor at a small Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregation near the mountains of Colorado where I live with my beloved.
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