Post travel blues, back to reality, and another step closer in envisioning an empty-nested life.
Sounds like you not only had an amazing time in Korea, and that you came back inspired for the near and distant future! I hope your eldest settles easily into living at home again (I am sure it can be an adjustment for some) and you all have a lovely summer :-)
I know that it isn't a solution for the problems as such, but maybe an idea to think about. I have seriously limited my intake of news for quite some years now. I think of me as informed still (mainly because we have a subscription to a weekly news magazine, where I can read thoroughly about topics, and because being online it is nearly impossible to completely avoid them). It really changed my (inner) life for the better. Many years I struggled with some guilt about it, but nowadays I defend this choice with a passion. It makes my life so much calmer and focused. Before, news triggered so much anxiety. Maybe you could think about a kind of news-diet?
Thanks for the post. I've followed your blog since your kids were little. My two kids are respectively about 2-3 years younger than yours. Reading your sharing about your different life stages have always made me feel like we're growing up (and old) together.
My kids are not yet in college but I can envision myself in a few years' time having more freedom to do the things I like and yes, maybe live in another place for a few months a year. It's bitter sweet and liberating at the same time. Looking forward to embracing this stage with you and others.
"I was certain that I would feel like a foreigner in Korea given all the years I endured judgement and shame here in the States for not speaking the language that I was shocked to discover how comfortable I felt. It didn’t quite feel like home, but I felt like I belonged." - I relate to this so hard and just came upon this revelation myself in Taiwan. You put it into words.
Welcome back! It's so amazing what travel can do to our bodies and souls. It sounds like your travel has given you a renewed sense of self and that's so precious. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I have not seen my parents, who live in China, since pre-pandemic times, and my role as a daughter has weaned off over the last few years. Even though I still talked to my parents over the phone and video chats, I have not really been in a "daughter role" in the day to day. They are coming to visit me in the States this summer, and I am both excited and nervous about that. I look forward to sliding back into being my parents' little girl and not having to act strong in front of them. But in the same time, they are growing older, and I want to be stronger in front of them. Maybe I am overthinking too much. Maybe everything will be just fine.
Beautiful on so many levels. Am so happy for you.
I appreciate your sharing this amazing line of thinking (and feeling) that grew out of your trip. “Decoupling” is such an interesting way to put the evolution of one’s relationship with young adult kids, but also one’s self-definition as a parent. The role changes SO MUCH. And sometimes those changes feel like loss and other times they feel like expansive opportunity. And of course they are both. Maybe we are real grownups now?