Since I have been back in the USA, I have been dealing with what they call re-entry shock. After living in Mexico for more than 7 years, immersed in the culture, I was having a hard time re-adjusting to my own culture. I was excited to be back with family and friends. However, things had changed while I was gone, and well, I often found myself feeling out of place. First, I wasn’t the same person, I had grown spiritual, I was married and had children. I wasn’t this 18 year old. I had no idea what people where talking about half the time like in fashion, technology, politics, tv series, redbox and so many more things.
I have learned a few things from the re-entry shock. I love both countries. I love the differences. Not everything has to change. I found these few things to be helpful as I re-entered by own culture and country.
- Embrace my new surroundings and friendships
- Surround myself with people like minded people
- Allow yourself time to readjust to thinking and speaking in your native tongue. (it might still be English but the words or sayings might be a bit different.)
- Find a way to express your experiences (carefully) not to sound pretentious. Know where it is wanted and not
- Stay connect with those who are abroad or working abroad.
- Accept that you’ve changed and so do other people
The best thing to do was to ask questions. Accept that I was different and had different life experiences and that my culture had changed. When people were talking about someone that I had no idea about I’d ask, “what is that?” Yes, I had people starring at me like I was dumb. But who cares. Life is not all about us, which I am sure you have learned by living overseas.