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Craig Storti (2003),the Art of Coming Home, Boston: Intercultural Press

Friday, March 2nd, 2007 @ 4:51 pm
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Posted in  Literature

What a powerful read that is! Although it actually made me feel more ‘normal’ about the way i feel whenever i go back to my home country, it actually made me very anxious around how would i manage experiencing the ‘re-entry cultural shock’ and continuing with the stress of the PhD at the same time…will it all, me included, fall apart? what can i do to look after myself in that or prevent any ‘disaster’ or breakdown? I do not feel at home anywhere at present and this takes a lot out of me, it creates an emotional turmoil, it often affects my health. I have changed so much since living abroad and when i go back, it feels like goingback to a foreign land. Nothing is the same, not only i have changed, everybody else has changed, my family,my friends, the natural environment…we dont know how to be, how to relate. This is expected to be happening cause life is constantly brining changes…but we havent been ‘witnessing’ each other cause we have been far away etc…that’s normalas well…..but i do wonder how i will bear all that process, emotionally and practicallyThe four stages of the re-entry to the ‘homeland’ are described as:

1.Leave-taking and departure

2.the ‘honeymoon’

3.reverse culture shock

4. readjustment

Those stages are similar to the three classic steps of any transition:

1. an ending, separation or disengagement phase

2. an interim, unstable period

3. a beginning, reintegration phase

I am not very good with endings, i know that, it didnt work out well in me, developmentally speaking….and this ‘reparation’ hasnt been achieved yet in my therapy either…hope i grow stronger in completing the full circle of endings and new beginnings, with less trauma

what really worries me is what Victor Hunter (1986) highlights when he says:

“Without a meaningful good-bye, an effective closure, there cannot be a creative hello, a hopeful commencement”

so, if i attempt to maintain ‘two homes’ (without actually experiencing either as such)during the course of doing my PhD, am i puting myself in the dnager of not adjusting properly and experiencing prolonged turmoil, without a proper ending and a clear start? and if that is also triggere by the PhD topic, will i be able to manage to do it whilsnt remaining balanced and content????????????

I urgently need an answer and good perspective on that…….

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