After six months away, I'm finally back in New York City. I got here just over 24 hours ago, and so far, being here feels surreal, like I'm in a videogame or a movie or a waking dream. I'm not exactly sure why that is or what it means.
In the last 18 days my environment has changed wildly — from Rio de Janeiro, to my hometown in Canada, and back to NYC. Every place represents a different life and, by extension, a different me.
This must be what it's like to time travel or to jump into a new dimension. Everything is different, but you're the same. Except you can't be the same, because everything and everyone around you is different.
Everyone looks at you and interacts with you as if you're one of them. And to some extent you are one of them. But you're also not. You're from a different place — a place they can never fully understand. Which means they will never fully understand you.
Life is crazy like that. I have so many memories and experiences. But no matter how many stories I tell, most of my past experiences will live on only in my mind. And even there, I'll never be able to replay them exactly. They live on in how they shape my worldview and my actions in the present, and they inform the consequences of my future.