As of today I've been in Little Rock for a month. I feel a lot more settled in, definitely - housed and working, making friends, getting to know the city. But I still constantly feel low level stress and anxiety. I always feel...disconcerted.
I talked with a transplanted New Yorker this morning. He said when he first arrived he had to adjust on several levels: the south, Arkansas, Little Rock, and the organizational culture. I suppose he's right. It's a little overwhelming to experience them all at once. I thought moving back to the US would be the easiest thing going. I've moved roughly every two years for the past 10 years, right? Changed continents, even. Why is this so hard when I don't have to deal with material want, and I can call any one of my friends in an instant?
I just never thought I could still suffer from cultural shock.
On October 5th, 2006 04:15 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
I've heard that Arkansas takes some adjusting to. I bet moving back to California or DC would have been a snap for you. I stereotype Arkansas as too urban to be rural but too rural to be urban. (Urbal?) Hemet as a state capital. That's got to be weird if it's anywhere near true. I'm sure Little Rock is nicer than Hemet.
But also my wife tells the story of having been in Zaire for just a six-week mission trip, returning home, and breaking down in tears at the sight of her parents' stuffed refrigerator. Feeling like she didn't deserve to have cold milk and fresh orange juice.