Do you remember that movie Corrina, Corrina? Maybe not. Well, in the movie, Whoopi Goldberg’s character has this magical ability to turn red lights green by blowing on them. Just a little puff of air and the waiting is over. Sometimes when I’m sitting at red lights, I try this technique. (To be honest, it never works.) Only when I have other people in my car does this become awkward. The problem is that I hate being stuck. I turn when I intended to go straight so that I can avoid just sitting there. I make Walmart runs in the middle of the night because an idea came to my mind and I can’t wait until morning to see it through. Once I know what I want or where I’m going, I’m ready to move forward.
I first came to Georgia last September and stayed until about a month ago. Over my Christmas vacation which I spent traipsing through Ireland, I decided that I would come back to the States when my TLG contract ended and look for a job in Seattle. Once I had settled on that much, the prospect of waiting 6 months to begin the new chapter in my life overwhelmed me. I spent hours looking online at studio apartments, prospective job opportunities, and potential cafes where I could sit and read Jane Austen. In April, however, I decided to stay another year in Georgia, and I came home to the States, where I a new waiting game began. I was in a friend’s wedding, and my best friend got a job; I helped a girl move into her new house, and a good friend is now engaged. And while I’m happy for their successes and new beginnings, I’m jealous that I’m…stuck.
I love every moment of being home and seeing my friends and family, yet I feel like life around me is moving on and moving forward, but mine can’t continue for another month, when I’m back in Georgia. And the longer I wait, the more Georgia feels like a dream; the longer I’m awake, the less realistic it seems. After one month, most people have stopped asking questions or requesting pictures, and the less I talk about it, the more I feel like the dream is fading.
One month from today, I will be back in Georgia, and my time here will become the dream. I’m trying to appreciate and enjoy what is happening around me – to stop turning the red lights green. There are days, though, that I want to ensure my experience halfway around the world doesn’t fade. Sometimes I just need a little Georgia in my life. Here’s what I’ve come up with…
- Speak Georgian. Maybe you throw a few random phrases into daily life. Sure, the sales person may not appreciate it when you ask what something costs in a language she probably has no idea exists, but if it makes you feel better, why not?
- Dance. I’ve had a wedding or two this summer, and even though no one knew what I was doing, I pulled out my Georgian dance moves and showed off my skills. They all thought I was fantastic because they didn’t know any better (which I’m sure is the only time someone will think I’m a fantastic Georgian dancer).
- Toast to your dead ancestors. Better yet, toast to God, your family, your siblings, your children, your future children, your future children’s children, love, women, Georgia, America, Georgian-American relations, friendship, and the church.
- Prepare a dish. Why not introduce Georgian cuisine to your friends and family at home? Whip out the oil, buy some fruit, milk a cow, make some cheese…it won’t be the same, but it will do the trick.
- Visit a neighbor. Why not go next door, call the neighbor’s name, and drink some tea? I don’t really know my neighbors very well, so I tend to do this with friends occasionally. More often than not, no one is home, but it’s nice nonetheless.
- Watch Georgian TV. Try watching Nichieri on youtube or finding the Spanish soap opera reruns to make you feel more at home.