It's been almost 17 months since I returned to the UAE, after completing my undergraduate degree at Stanford University. I promised myself I would start a blog as soon as I arrived in order to document the (oh so confusing) journey of returning "home".
As you can see, that never happened- and my transition has yet to be documented. I've settled back home (with the parents) and have been working for almost a year now. I've suffered the counterintuitive phenomenon of reverse culture shock, which, believe it or not, was more serious than the culture shock I suffered when I landed alone, in the US at the mere age of 17.
A lot of things have been delayed (setting up my own business and getting this blog up and running, for example), but applying to Graduate School hasn't been been one of them. I just sent in my final application to Columbia Graduate School, and now I have my fingers crossed- until I get the replies.
That said, I am not sure if I will venture East again. Circumstances have changed since I returned. My apprehension of coming back to the UAE, after four years of living alone, has subsided (not entirely, though), and life here in the Arab world has become more endurable. The longer I am here, the less I am reminded of all the "little freedoms" I took for granted when living alone in the US. But then, there are times when I realize that we still have many strides to take if we would like to become part of the developed world. That could be another incentive for me to stay. My dad says I tend to walk away from problems, or shove them under the carpet, and emigrating would just prove him right.
This is life I guess. Constantly changing. Never constant.
Till my next post, hold on to this rollercoaster ride called life.
(caption: My final Stanford "Dinner on the Quad", before returning to the UAE. In the background is Stanford's Memorial Church, a non-denominational church)