Home is where the… mind sees???

(From Saturday, 14 July 2012)

Today seven weeks that I have been in Greenland, and in eleven days it will mark the official halfway point of my experience!  I cannot believe how quickly time has passed!  I feel like I just got here!

I have to say, though, that between moving to Washington, D.C. in September 2011 (after having lived in the same town for seven years) and then eight months later moving again to Nuuk, Greenland to live for four months… my brain has been having a lot of trouble bringing up the correct mental picture when I think of “home”.

When I first moved to Washington, D.C., I maintained my job in Charlottesville, Virginia (100 miles or 160 km south of D.C.), and I traveled back a number of times on the weekends throughout the fall.  That entire fall, I felt like Charlottesville was home, and that I was only in Washington, D.C. temporarily.  When I would think about something as mundane as going home after class, I would actually see my apartment in Charlottesville in my head.  And every time I returned to Charlottesville, I felt like I was just coming home from a couple weeks’ vacation.  I actually started driving to my old apartment a couple of times rather than to my friend’s house where I was staying!

A similar feeling resurfaced when I was in North Greenland a couple weeks ago.  When I would interview tourists for work and tell them that I did not live in Ilulissat but rather came from Nuuk, I was feeling like I had been in Nuuk all my life!   And when I was saying goodbye to the film crew, I kept thinking, I’ll see them the next time they’re in Greenland! I was missing the fact that yes, they will be back to Greenland, but I will (most likely) not be here when that happens.

And lately when I am at my desk at work, I completely forget that this is not my permanent job… that I am merely a summer intern.  I am so far removed from the fact that I am still a student in the United States, and that I still have two semesters of graduate school left!  In some ways, I feel like I have subconsciously jumped ship – that because from the very beginning I tried so hard to assimilate and blend into life here that I actually took this on as my “real life” and lost sight of the fact that I am only borrowing it.

So maybe home is the initial image your mind produces when you say the word…

Do this!  Listen to the song linked below.  Where do you see in your head????

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