Getting the Blues

Trip Start Sep 30, 2005
Trip End Jun 04, 2006

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Thursday, January 26, 2006

Let me get this straight, getting the blues in Glasgow has nothing to do with Glasgow Rangers (or Celtic!), nor becoming a Scot, charming people though they are. I like the people I work with, I think this is a fantastic city to live and work in, but I'm down, not happy, and to be honest, a bit sore in the head. Culture Shock?!?!?! Maybe, probably, I really don't know. It seems too easy to stick that label on things even though I've been expecting to suffer from China withdrawal and travel withdrawal symptoms at some point since I got back to the UK and the world of salaried work. It seems a lot to take in and figure out, although people that I know well and total strangers alike have been good at trying to help me work through it. There's something heartening in that fact alone.

I expect everyone who writes on or reads this website goes through it in their own way or shape or form. It's yin and yang, payback time, withdrawal, mental exhaustion..., call it what you will. Here's hoping that fond memories, perspective, a postive outlook and most of all time will be whisked up into a cure. The one thing I can't figure out is whether adding more holidays and travel to the mix will be good or bad. Is it pouring oil on troubled waters? Then again, bad travel, bad exploration or adventure? Oxymorons all aren't they? No such thing is there...? I don't know!

All this is just something to wrestle with. It's part of my journey and as much part of life's tapestry as anything else I've seen or done. In 20 years time it will seem like a speck, a minor blip maybe, but right now it hurts and I don't really know what it is other than disorientation or maybe alienation in my homeland which isn't really something that sits easy!

Without wishing to blame or bemoan others or to place myself on some exalted pedestal, the hardest thing to grasp and to deal with is that many of the people I'm around really don't seem to have changed, and don't seem to be able to grasp that I will have. That's not because I wanted to change per se, but because I exposed myself to a whole different set of life experiences and perspectives. It's not that I'm better, or braver, or under more pressure, but I've grown new bits and have new dimensions. It feels like I've returned to a World full of well-meaning people who expect me to fit back in the same pigeon hole I was meant to inhabit before I donned my backpack and took off. Above all, it's like I've surrenderred/given away/had freedom taken away, and I miss my friend Freedom who I was able to look in the face every morning and decide where I'd go that day.
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