I’ve now been back from my honeymoon for a full week, and I must say that being back in “reality” is proving to be painful. Aside from the usual “daily grind” and worries about whether to pursue a graduate degree or buy a house (and housing in my area is ludicrously expensive beyond any rationale), the most painful part is the rather curious psychological phenomenon that being back in the same old places and routines makes it feel like I never left at all, as though nothing has happened between May 15 and June 3.
I’ve experienced this before, and I am certain others have as well. You get accustomed to living in a house, driving the same commute daily, working in an office, shopping at the same mall every weekend, walking the dog three times a day (usually the same route), speaking with the same people about the same things, and so on. Then you go off for a week’s vacation to someplace you’ve never been, see beautiful sights, hear cool local music, smell flowers you’ve never encountered before, eat exotic local foods, do things like SCUBA dive or snorkel, maybe you even take in shows or amusement rides that aren’t like anything in your hometown. It’s all fresh, new, and exciting. Then you come home and immediately drop right back into the mundane life you were living. Within a matter of hours or possibly a day, you find it hard to remember what you saw, heard, smelled, tasted, and did.
Yet, even though the sensory memories now seem like vague recollections from a dream, I am still remembering enough of something to now be painfully aware of being discontent with being back. While my post-wedding cluttered living room, clunky car, and corporate office are now more vivid to me, I feel disappointed about being in them, rather than in St. Lucia. What I am remembering, independent of any sight, sound, smell, or taste, is that a little over a week ago I felt both relaxed and enthusiastic. Relaxed at being with my wife and in charge of my day. Enthusiastic about being with my wife and out in the daylight, active, taking pictures, and free of the drudgery of e-mails, phone calls, housekeeping, and other responsibilities in life. Now, I am back and being daily reminded of all the reasons why I was looking forward to my honeymoon.
I suppose what I am saying is: “I need a vacation.”