Monday, September 4, 2017

Transition is a Four Letter Word

When people ask how it's [the transition back to Canada] been I struggle to find the words to accurately describe the last 9 months. The best I can come up with is as follows:

So good and also completely and utterly overwhelming.

What exactly has been so overwhelming?

Every. Single. Thing.

Literally, every single thing. It's so hard to explain, and it doesn't make sense, but even the most simple thing feels overwhelming. Yet in the midst of those overwhelming emotions I'm also completely numb. I somehow feel everything and nothing in the same emotion. Which is why I struggle to accurately share how it's going. It doesn't make sense to me, so how is it going to make sense to anyone else?

So much good has come. I can't even begin to tell you how incredible this journey has been. Being back is so good. Getting to know my nieces and nephews, spending time with old friends, celebrating birthdays and special family events together has just been the biggest blessing! Watching my kids flourish in a new culture and absolutely excel in so many things has been the greatest joy. Getting plugged in slowly at church and connected with people there, actually getting to know people I've "known" for years has been a huge blessing. It's really been so good.

But so much is lost too. I don't really know who I am as a Canadian wife and mother, I've never been that before and I'm struggling to navigate it all. I miss Haitian culture so much more than I ever imagined. I've learned that I'm much more Haitian than Canadian in many ways, yet I have been completely terrible with keeping in touch with the people I love and cherish because it's painful to accept the separation. I feel intense shame and guilt for leaving and even more so for not being better at maintaining and developing those relationships from a far.

I don't allow my thoughts to stay on Haiti or the kids and friends I left behind for long. There's too much pain when it does.

I feel like I'm drowning in the calmest, most peaceful water.

I can't quite catch my breath.

I want to be better. I want to feel whole, and happy and take deep breaths that completely fill my lungs, but the reality is I'm not there yet. I feel lost and broken yet purposeful and content. I know I'm where I'm supposed to be, I'm so thankful and excited to be here, I love what God has done for us. But I still have a lot of healing and adjusting and figuring out to do.

So here is my request. Please be patient with me. The Rachel you have today is not the Rachel you'll have tomorrow. I'm on a journey. Nine months may seem like a long time to some but I'm only just beginning to process the last 11 years of my life.