Red Light, Green Light

Posted on July 28, 2012 by


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…

  1. 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?
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Watch Georgian TV. Try watching Nichieri on youtube or finding the Spanish soap opera reruns to make you feel more at home.