Living abroad is an endless series of growth phases. Each phase becomes visible after you've cleared it.
On return to Doha from the states this latest trip around, I feel a new level of sobriety take over. I feel myself gripping firmly the handles of a gigantic invisible bike, complete with flame-illustrated banana seat, and directing the thing around places I understand to a new degree.
You see, the first year, it was as if everything was fuzzy. I could go in stores. I could drive down roads, I could make my way around and find things. Schedules, appointments, events, yoga practice sessions and workshops--all of these things I could get to, be at.
But there was a strange haze around everything, every moment. It was a haze created by the newness of it all--as relative as it was from day to day, week to week, in passing months.
That newness encouraged the part of me that is very kindred with the Chinese. That part of me that longs so ardently for explanation on why things are as they are that I start coming up with connections at a highly superstitious level. Symbolism comforted me, pictures, dreams, dragons, silver, gold, semi-precious medallions, astrology, tarot cards, a Palestinian girlfriend reading my Turkish coffee cup, every day, sometimes twice a day ... meaning ... ?
I think a certain degree of this helps me enjoy life. But I was getting in a bit deep. Not as deep as in my early 20s in general, but kinda deep.
But on the night I arrived back here, from this latest trip, my mind was not looking for anything but what was. And I still feel that feeling, that everything is what it is. Just as it was what is was in New York--stone, cold, sober, real, vital and that much closer.