Gratitude for Platitude












I had my first bowl of pho in three whole months within half an hour of landing at John Wayne Airport. There’s no place quite like Home.

I picked guavas with my Dad; went shopping with my Mom; spent quality time with my brother; saw my little sister from another mister; read poetry aloud; had a jam session; visited Grandpa; played Rock Band; camped out for Black Friday (and got McDonald’s breakfast); had a sleepover; reorganized my bookshelf (now the American authors and European authors each have their own section); had a hyper-crazy spell; bought a microphone; karaoke’d my heart out; bought more books; saw my roomie from UCDC; slept in my own bed; visited UCI; and caught up with girl talk before I flew out. All in all, a good trip home. Two and a half weeks until I fly back again.

On this particular trip, I felt the Difference for the first time. It happened when I saw a girl wearing a scarf in the middle of 72 degree weather. Then I remembered how scarves are more fashion than function in California’s “winter.” I laughed at how I used to indulge in the same practice. I proceeded to think about how I might have changed since the last time I was Home.

Emily Dickinson once wrote,

Heavenly hurt it gives us –
We can find no scar –

But internal difference –
Where the Meanings are.

“Heavenly hurt” is the only way I can really describe what it felt like to be around familiar things but carry the knowledge that I could never fully recount my experience on the east coast to people back home unless they were there with me. How could I ever relay all that I had been through in the past three months to people back home who have never seen our office, never been to D.C., never ridden the metro? It was so easy to fall back into the Same-O Same-O, which only ratified my sense that Home is a comfort and a bubble. My “meanings,” so to speak, would only be understood by me and whomever else has shared my experiences. In some ways that’s frustrating, but at the end of the day, that’s life.

Within coming back home lay a lesson that there are some things that will never change – in the good way – and people who will always remind you of who you are. In lieu of the season, I’m thankful for both.

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One thought on “Gratitude for Platitude

  1. I enjoyed your photos. My favorite is the last one.It's unbelievable that someone can do SO MUCH in such a short period of time. Congrats! I'm reporting this to Guinness.

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