Well, I've been home for an entire week now. Things have been pretty good. I've been at my parents house, which is where I'll be staying until I get a real job...hopefully in May I will be relocating to Washington D.C. to work on veterans education issues.
Being at my parents house is kind of weird, I feel very isolated but also it's very relaxing. There's food and drink abound, and my sister is here and she keeps me company during the day. I am not sure what would have happened if I was alone all day every day right when I got back. I think I may have gone insane.
I haven't really been doing anything interesting. Mostly lounging in sweatpants. Also working on the internet/phone pretty extensively with SVA (Student Veterans of America) trying to get myself caught up on what has been happening with the organization while I was gone. It turns out lots, and lots, and lots happened while I was gone.
I went out for St. Patrick's Day with my roommate from the desert, Kathryn. You'd think after spending every single second together for 2 straight months we'd be sick of each other...well after 5 days I was missing her something terrible. We went out to dinner together. It was weird to be out and about in downtown Madison, I felt really discombobulated by being around something so familiar after experiencing something so bizarre. I think being at my parents house has been a nice way of letting me sink back into the real world slowly. But dinner was good, and we talked about the trip a lot, and the people we missed, and laughed about inside jokes that no one else would think was funny.
We then proceeded to get absolutely smashed, it was St. Patrick's Day and neither of us had really celebrated being home yet. It was a really good, funny night and I saw a lot of random familiar people out and about.
Sleep has been interesting. It's been hard to fall asleep, it's been hard to relax in general. I think I am back in some sort of rhythm but it's not really a dependable one. I am sleeping through the night pretty well which is a good thing.
I sent out care packages to the guys still over there. I feel strangely guilty for being able to leave while all the active duty guys had to stay. I sent them all the things I wished I had had when I was there, plus their favorite junk food. The post office is right down where Johnny Depp is filming his new movie, Public Enemies, so it ended up being a HUGE ordeal and a big frustration. I've been kind of anti-people upon my return and masses of spectators is not really my cup of tea at this point. At any rate it is kind of cool that Johnny Depp is cruising around this small tiny town.
It feels really, really good to be home, but still a little bittersweet I guess. Not many people experience an environment stripped of all comforts from home, in a hostile environment at that, with complete strangers. As sucky as it was at times, I think I am going to miss being directly challenged to adapt to situations as extreme as that.