Here are my permissions for reentry:
Permission to grieve.
Cry, have at it. It’ll be messy, just like all of life. Here’s your permission to have breakdowns in stores and cry in front of strangers and your dad and mom and friends. It’s okay. It’s okay and normal not to be okay when you reenter a culture.
Permission to not do it all right.
You don’t have to grieve perfectly. And you don’t have to do reentry perfectly. Don’t put up a front of being perfect or worry about being “perfectly genuine.” Genuine isn’t perfect in any sense. It’s messy and broken, and it usually involves showing people warts and eyes red from crying and...beauty. Beauty in brokenness.
Here’s your permission—to have at it!
Have at reentry. Swing at it angrily like there’s no tomorrow. Punch it in the face. Cry, and let yourself be rocked to sleep in the memories of your hammock in Cambodia. Daydream too much about Cambodia. Enjoy being in the air conditioning in the US too much. Be bitter. Be human. Do everything wrong, and slowly find out what is right.
Permission for unlimited grace.
For yourself. For yourself when you grieve and mess up and do everything wrong—because you just gave yourself permission to do that. Grace for yourself when you don’t have grace on others because dang it, they just don’t understand and see the world you do. Here’s your permission for unlimited grace: permission to sleep, withdraw, Netflix binge watch, and want to change the world. Give yourself time to rest.
Permission to choose the healthy thing.
To cry and be angry and not do it all right, but also to choose what's right. To pursue healthiness is all its forms.
Choose the healthy thing.