Sunday, November 20, 2011

A rude awakening

It feels like a dream.  If it weren't for my photographic evidence, I might believe a dream is all it really was. A dream that I was abruptly woken up from.  One I wish I could return to by rolling over and shutting my eyes as tightly as I can.  But every dream must come to an end at some point... and it's only the flashbacks that I can hold on to.  The ones that make me escape my reality for a split second and feel the warmth of the sun glowing on my skin once again.

Monday morning as we were taxing into our gate, just before 6:00, the pilot announced over the intercom, "... and the current temperature is 2 degrees."  (Celsius, that is - otherwise I would have died).  I had just left near 90 degree Fahrenheit weather for temperatures in the 30's.  A thick gray mist loomed outside.  I garnered all the courage I could to step out of the plane.

Two hours after we landed I was home and showered, but barely awake. At that point I had been up for over 30 hours, and I was beyond exhausted. But I made my way to work.  Because that's what you do when you've used up every possible vacation day (all 5 weeks of it).

I biked in the cold, bundled in a hat, scarf, mittens, coat and boots.  My eyes were so tired, my vision was blurred.  The gray mist didn't help.  But I arrived in one piece, although a bit drained.  I turned on my laptop to find more work waiting for me than I could have ever imagined.  I was overwhelmed. I wanted to close my eyes and pretend I was still in Koh Chang, Thailand. Right then my manager walked in.  She took one look at me and said, "I'm so sorry you had to come back to this."  The word "this" encompassed more in my mind than what she was implying, and my exhaustion overtook my emotions.  So I cried.  And then through my tears I laughed in embarrassment.

That was Monday.  Today is now Sunday.  There is still a thick fog covering the city.  The weather has warmed up a bit, but the sun has barely made an appearance since I've arrived. So I hang on to the flashes of memories which feel more like a distant dream, and I feel better.

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