Coming back to the USA has been complete culture shock. Sounds strange given that I grew up on the east coast in Baltimore, Maryland. Though this time everything was so sudden and the situation reactive. I have always been the rather quiet one with my sisters and usually the peacekeeper. As of late I am the grumbly annoying girl that is hard to be around. Everything is a problem and I make excuses. Though for the first time in my life I am spent. I had invested all my energy financially and physically on these social projects. I lost the business mind and began to feel ‘poor’. Poverty is the feeling of ‘lack’. Never having enough: money, time, love…etc.
In a way I feel like a war veteran returning home and having no clue how to aclimate to this context. All I knew was running around to villages, empowering communities and hoping to find solutions to these massive world issues. The mistake I made was not caring for the most important person (yes of course myself). Like an idiotic ‘aha’ moment of sorts. How could I have missed the most important part of the puzzle? I left me too long in the cold that my heart lost its will to beat. No worries I am not going to do anything silly. I have just been following my shadow around for days, while watching the ridiculous person I have become.
My dear sister has been caring with her toughen up love, as if she was physically putting back together the sister she once knew. I was the girl that coached her through her first day of middle school, resume drafting and career redirections. She says with crossed arms and an irritation in her voice, “I don’t know this girl, the one hunched over the computer all depressed and s**t. The Stacy I know would go out there and hike a volcano by herself”. Going into the field as I had done and seeing the poverty on so many levels had me shaken more than I would like to admit. Desperation took over when we couldn’t find solutions to these enormous social issues. The development world is the process of pulling a loose thread out of a sweater, once you start it is difficult to stop. My fashion dream has lost its concentration. For now, I am taking a backseat until I find that love that once drove me. This is a part of the journey. In Indonesian, we say ‘rest first’. Perhaps that is the door I forgot to open.