My first attempt to prepare myself for coming back to Ukraine turned to be a fiasco. Trying to build some theoretical background, I googled “reverse cultural shock”, and five out of seven articles I found started with something like “It is not easy to come back to US after a year abroad”. And nothing like “How to Survive in Ukrainian Province if Your Heart Stayed on Gothenburg’s Archipelago”.
How to live without a sea in this god-damn city?
How to unsee the ugliness of buildings?
How to deal with people who consider Stas Pjekha a celebrity?
How to accept that you are… You are here again?!
You. Are. Here. Again.
This is where you are from.
This is where you are now.
This is your home.
Good thing, however, about being in own late twenties is that you are still flexible, but waaay less dramatic than when you were twenty one. Few beers, deep breathing, selected Gogol Bordello tracks, and a proper amount of time to spend on
crying reflection – and I developed sort of a personal re-entry strategy into my home country.
Me, with my natural empathy and well-developed social skills. Me, holding a Master degree in communication and another one in social work. Me, knowing about importance of non-judgmental attitude, cultural relativism, priority of content over form. This Natasha had something to do back home. Something that have been remaining unsolved for many years. A gestalt to close. A challenge to accept. An adventure to live.
And this moment, summer 2016, one month before I turn 29, seemed to be a right time to face it. So, darlings, my next insta-countdown will be dedicated to the journey along the curve of the reverse cultural shock. God bless me, let the lenses be clear and the filters – nice.