Uncomfortable In My Own Clothes: Part 1
(Written 4/6/2014 but not posted until now.)
Since college, every vacation I’ve taken to visit family requires a weight gain. My last vacation was no exception. The clothes I had taken in (after living in Armenia for 3 months) and again became too large, now fit. The result of eating foods that are either unavailable or are just too expensive.
When I left for Armenia, I hadn’t planned to return to the US until the conclusion of my service, 27 months later, but my precious little Titernik’s arrival changed all that. It’s difficult to describe how it feels to stare into his sleeping baby face knowing I must go back to work and leave him for 16 months. He won’t know me. He won’t remember how I smell. He won’t recognize my voice.
Still, I found that I miss the routine I’d established and the life I’ve created in Armenia, not to mention my friends and coworkers. But there is an underlying feeling that cannot always be ignored – that I am not wholly part of either place. In the last days at home, my thoughts return to the unfinished work I left, as my Program Manager likes to say, “Planting trees under whose shade we will never sit.”
So my Titer jan will have a reference point and a way of knowing what I was doing as he was growing, learning to roll over, cutting teeth, tasting his first foods, taking his first steps and speaking his first words; I am creating a record of our time apart by sending to him postcards of my photos. Every month he’ll receive a different photo and a note from me. Not a perfect solution but it fits me right now.