The real cause of the post-holiday blues
After almost four years abroad I now find myself settling back into normal life. I have returned to my home city with what would appear on the surface as a very good attempt at re-entering society. I now find myself gainfully employed, I now own a car and hey I even have all my things nicely unpacked into a rental. I mean I almost fool myself into thinking that I am one of the masses. And honestly how I wish this was true. However coming back to where you started, is not the same as never leaving. I don’t just slot back from whence I once came. I have grown, evolved and progressed in more ways than I can measure. And so too has the environment I once existed in. Everything is exactly the same and completely different all at once. Each emotion wrapped in its opposing feeling … and I think this is what’s known as the post-holiday blues. Not a sadness from leaving a place, but in no longer belonging where you once existed.
After a month of trying to blend back in I feel I can put my finger exactly causes such discontent. It simply comes down to questions like ‘do you have proof of address?’ – Honestly the six worst words in the English language to a nomad. No – I don’t have proof of address. Because in the last 4 years I have had 5 separate addresses and nor do I place much importance on having an address. Yet having an address is an almost integral part to belonging to this functioning society I once was a part of. You literally cannot do anything without a proof of some type of address. And to what function does this serve? How does having an address affect my ability to own or drive a car? Well, logically it doesn’t yet it is another example of the red tape, politics and quite frankly BS you have to put up with when you return.
Almost as incomprehensible is the way everything must go through a third party. You wish to arrange something with the tenants in your property? Third party. You want to apply for a job? Third party. You want to take over a lease of a friend – each doing the other a favour? Third party. Every contact, decision making and communication ultimately must go through another person. Tasks that should actually be 5 minute conversation become weeks of waiting in limbo while you wait for someone to get back to someone else who then gets back to you. I don’t know when this happened, but at some stage I outgrew this all.
After 4 years on the road this is what I know. I know that if someone needed somewhere to sleep I would give them some pillows on the floor if that was all I had. I know that if I wished to communicate with someone, I would do so without consulting a third party to delegate my own words. I know that when I communicate I always do so openly and honestly and that I no longer know how to play the game. I know that the possessions I own only act to tie me down. I know that I will probably never ever really belong in a place like this again.
So here’s to the post holidays blues. The realization that you have changed in more ways than you could have ever imagined and that you will probably never be content with normality again.