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After SIX phone calls to TAM airlines, I was finally able to get my flight changed back to the States. I would not say my experience with this airline has been positive. Memorable, yes. Positive, no.

Although it was clear that I didn’t want to leave this place, it had also become clear that it was time. It was time for me to integrate the “new me” back into society, if you will. It was easy to be me in Abadiania because no one knew me any differently. The amount of peace, love, support, and freedom I felt there I had never experienced before in my life! Another belief I have is that we are all connected.  Therefore, when we change a part of ourselves, it changes others. Although I may appear to be the same person at first glance to most people, who I am being and how I will walk this Earth is now very different than just a few months ago. I suspect this may be challenging for a few people in my life. And, I could be wrong! 😉 With all that being said, I was excited to get back and connect with family and friends I hadn’t seen in quite sometime! It had been a year since I’d seen family and several years since I had seen some of my friends in the MidWest.

The day I was leaving, I got to spend with someone very special to me. In some ways this made leaving a little easier and in other ways a little harder. 😉 I also got to spend some time with my new friend from Brasilia before I left. She and her son met me at the airport. That was another very sweet surprise.

My first flight was to Miami. Although I didn’t leave until 10p and should just try to get some sleep, I was remembering the set up I had going to Brazil…my own little tv with all sorts of free movies, shows, concerts, and games on it! I was excited to watch a movie before I went to bed! No such luck. Different airline, no personal tv. I am not one of those people that can sleep on a plane for very long, unfortunately. So, I ended up staying awake for the inflight movie anyway.

When we arrived in Miami, it was only about 4:30a.m. That was nice because the airport was not busy. Going through customs was interesting. I totally felt like I was being interrogated. The guy was not satisfied that I was in Brazil to learn about the culture and on a Spiritual journey. I’m not sure what he was “looking” for. After some time and me continuing to give him the same answers, he finally let me through. Welcome to America! Ha! I ate a really yummy breakfast, texted my family that I was back on American soil safe and sound, then boarded my last flight to Chicago.

When I landed in Chicago, all that I was excited about quickly disappeared! All of the inner peace I had been experiencing for the past month, gone in the blink of an eye! As soon as I stepped foot into one of the largest airports in America, reality slapped me in the face! Not only had I been in a beautiful place physically and spiritually, I was also WAY more sensitive energetically than I had anticipated! I had forgotten that O’Hare airport is like a damn city! It was the opposite of everything I had just come from. By the time I got to baggage claim, I was losing it.  My best-friend, Heather was picking me up from the airport. She had sent me a text message asking me some questions so she knew where to pick me up. After I answered that text, I sent another… “FYI…I’m already freaking out a little.” Although she had never been out of the country for 3 months, she understood. It was taking a while for our bags to be unloaded. I was standing there crying. I stepped away from the conveyor belt, closed my eyes, and had a brief conversation with God…

Me: I can’t do this.
God: Yes you can.
Me: I wanna go back! Am I supposed to go back right now?
God: No.
Me: Well, what am I supposed to do? I can’t handle this!
God: Allow me to guide you. You can create and have that inner peace ANYWHERE you are. REMEMBER…

Ok! I can do this! I got my bags and went out to meet Heather. As soon as I was in her arms, I sobbed! “I wanna go back!”

I spent the first week back at Heather’s in Chicago. This turned out to be a really good choice! I was able to slowly reintegrate (slowly is the key word here). She and her house-mates got it. No one was offended when I needed time alone in my room (I cried everyday!). No one thought it was weird that I needed to meditate A LOT! I was able to just BE! This is one thing no one told me about. There’s culture shock when you immerse yourself into another country AND culture shock coming back! I had no idea how much it would affect me! I will be forever thankful to Heather and her housemates for my time there! And, now I know what re-entry can possibly be like the next time I leave the country.  😉

All in Love,

Jaiden