Repatriate or Extended Vacationer?

In just a few days, my life will change drastically. For one, my day-to-day scenery will be very different than it is here in Los Angeles. More apricot trees, no palms; no Starbucks, more Jazzves. On April 19, I land on the Motherland for the seventh time. But this will be a different journey than my first time in 1991 when the country was still under Soviet rule. Not just because of how different it looks and is now, but because it will be the first time I’ll be staying for more than 3 weeks (well, actually, in 1991 my mom and I stayed for over a month but I was 8). It will also be the first time I’ll be working from home from there versus vacationing the entire time. And, in a matter of four months, I will decide if I can become a repatriate like my brother Garen or if I will remain a vacationer like I have been countless times before. The change that’s about to happen is undoubtedly going to make me grow in so many ways, whether or not I decide to stay in Armenia beyond my return ticket.

Some friends are certain I won’t return (my god sister Lala came to visit me from Oregon because she’s convinced I’ll stay longer), while others think I love LA too much to leave it for too long, but I can see it going either way. I can see myself falling more in love with the country and its hospitality and warmth than ever before or I can just as easily see myself growing tired of the aggression and lack of order and wanting to come back to the little life I’ve created for myself in America. As much as I have an adventurous side that I met after leaving San Francisco and moving to LA in 2011, I also very much need order in my life to stay sane (typical Taurus). But instead of trying to anticipate a decision from now, I’m leaving it up to life to take me to where I need to go. Wherever that may be — Armenia, Los Angeles, or somewhere else — I’m open to it and excited to embrace the surprises that are in store. While my practical side would like to foretell the future, there’s something thrilling about not knowing and not trying to manipulate it to how I think it should go. As the saying goes, if you want to make God laugh, make a plan, and I certainly don’t want to mess with the Big Guy upstairs right before approaching a potentially life-changing crossroads.

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