Monthly Archives: September 2014

What I really mean by “jet lagged”

I’m running several hours late for my first appointment. I keep putting it off. A couple episodes of Grey’s Anatomy ago I woke up in a place that I am not quite sure how to describe. It’s somewhere in between comfortingly familiar and overwhelmingly strange. I am what I can describe best as “home”, Atlanta, GA. The place I spent about 10 years of my life. That’s the longest I have ever stayed in one place. Both of my parents and most of my family are here. So I think the word “home” is fitting. I have been counting down the days until I would wake up here for weeks now. The day is finally here and I can barely pull myself out of bed to greet the day I have been so anxiously waiting for. The excuse I have been using in text conversations with friends and to supporters I promised to meet is the equivalent of the “sorry, I can’t make it in today I am sick (insert fake cough)” for normal people with real people jobs. In my world we say, “ I am sooo sorry. I am super jetlagged and can barely get out of bed. Can we reschedule?”
While on one hand this is totally true, if we dig just a little below the surface I, and anyone else who lives my kind of life, know that jet lag is only part of it. The full truth is more like “I am exhausted. I am in a weird place that is supposed to be my normal. I can’t remember how anything works. All the choices in this place are making me nauseous. I feel like I will stick out like a sore thumb anywhere I go and everyone will think “SHE’S A BASKET CASE! WHY IS SHE ACTING SO WEIRD?! WHERE IS SHE FROM? SHE DOESN’T GET ANY OF OUR JOKES OR REFERENCES. SHE STRUGGLES TO THINK OF WORDS IN HER OWN LANGUAGE! AND SHE PROBABLY HAS LIKE 16 KIDS SOMEWHERE IN AFRICA.” I know. It sounds crazy, but the truth is, I need to reschedule our meeting today because I am both jetlagged and scared shitless to walk out of the door into the big scary world of America and hang out with my BFF Culture Shock.