9.10.2013

Ashley's Steps for Getting Over Reverse Culture Shock (Step 3)



DUN DUN DUN... Here is the last step on how I've been getting over reverse culture shock...

3. Create Something Pretty Out of the Pain

The irony of this blog post is that it is itself a tool in helping with my recovery of reverse culture shock. Reflection is a important step to getting through culture shock and reverse culture shock. While keeping a journal or blog might seem juvenile to some, it's interesting how all pride flies out of the window once you actually start writing your feelings. This can be a simple statement of "Today I feel..." and finishing that sentence with your thoughts on how it's been to be back.

Beyond writing, making a photo album of sorts has helped me TREMENDOUSLY. It might seem painful to drudge up photos of your home abroad, but it actually does help. I've been using Shutterfly to compile a book of photos (and you can add text!) on my year abroad. It makes my memories into something tangible that I can share.

Both of these things have been an exercise in reflecting on my great experience and expressing my grief over saying goodbye to it.



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I could go on with more steps, but I'll stop the series here. Following these steps have helped me with my sadness over London, although some days I really miss it. I joke sometimes that London was a break-up of sorts. I loved it so, but we weren't gonna get married, so it's time to move on!

The important thing to remember is that this is a PROCESS. Note the use of the word 'getting' in the title. I think there will always be that part of me that wants to hop on a plane and go live in London again. It's the part of me that thrives off of adventure and new experiences. What I want to focus that energy on now is having new experiences in my hometown. I don't have to hop on a plane every time I want adventure. I'll always be a traveler, of course; but this is not the only interesting thing about me. Time to work on the other aspects of Ashley.

Lastly, I'm planning a trip to London next summer for my graduation. I've heard this is the last step in closure: going back to the place you lived and saying a final farewell.

Until then, London. Now I'll be mentioning you less and less on the blog. As it should be, old chap!

9 comments :

  1. Writing helps me in that way too. I unfortunately think that I only write well when I'm depressed but it's part of the self-help process. Luckily not many people read my blog so they know it's not all doom & gloom all the time in my life :) I just made one of those Shutterfly books too and it turned out great! You are so lucky to have someplace wonderful to go back to and have it feel like home.

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    1. You're so right Felicia! And I think Shutterfly may be a new addiction.

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  2. I made a book too about our time abroad. People just kept asking about all of it, so I made a book kind of explaining what we were doing. It was so great to go through and do that, so now I'm able to show people instead of just telling them.

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    1. Right? It almost gets tiring trying to explain with just words. You need an instruction manual of sorts :)

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  3. London was my first trip to Europe back when I was a stupid teenager and didn't really appreciate the amazing opportunity.

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    1. hahaha! This made me laugh. I went to London as a teenager as well; but man, I loved it even then!

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  4. big hug. they say the best thing to do to get over someone is to get under someone else. i don't know how that translates to your sitch, but there is some advice!

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    1. bahahaha! You are the BEST krystal. And also kind of disturbing. nah, I kid.

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  5. I've never been successful with the whole getting over reverse culture shock. I always just umm went traveling again and delayed that for sometime later. Right now I have no trips coming up and its really weird. I will have to try some of your advice to try to get over the feeling of being unlatched to my life here in the States.

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