I’ve sort of kept my personal life out of the blogosphere until now, but I feel the need to express the real reason I left Southeast Asia and returned to the US. As I experience extreme reverse culture shock in an attempt to reconnect and relate again in this country, I seem to process it all a little better by writing. My friends and family cannot relate to me entirely and I guess it’s not fair for me to expect them to. Not everyone wants to hear about the life I led in Southeast Asia, the sociopolitical issues I am passionate about, and the vapid parts of our culture that I struggle to embrace. Regardless, each person has a life journey and none of us walk the same line. I am a changed woman because of the experiences I had, the cultures I encountered, and the unfamiliarity I grew accustom to. I may be back in a familiar place for the time being, but I refuse to stop challenging myself; I refuse to stop pushing myself out of my comfort zone; and I refuse to sequester my search for diversity and difference. I will embrace the US with the same curiosity I did in Asia and I will find the place where I can stand comfortably. It may not be the same place I stood before because I am not the same person. That being said, it’s time to come out.
In mid-July in Bangkok City, my best friend – who also happens to be the man I love – and I created a spark that would take residence within. Everything changed in that moment. After months of deliberation, we decided that having a baby in Bangkok was a less than desirable option for all the challenges that faced us – citizenship, language, heat, pollution, lack of safety standards, et al. And so now, at 18 weeks in, we are ready to make the official announcement that we are expecting that spark – Baby Bela – to arrive next April and disclose the real reason why I am back in the United States in case any of you were wondering.