Time on break is running short. I’m not looking forward to the plane trip back. I suppose that’s not quite accurate—what I’m really not looking forward to is having to make the transition once again. These transitions are so jarring, each time I change locations. They are starting to affect me in a deeper way than I think I’m used to realizing. We humans aren’t designed for this—countless millennia of evolution have molded us into beings that specialize in getting to know and master our environments inside and out. We are specialists at analysis and systematization. Now, in modernity, we suddenly begin to shift contexts virtually instantaneously. Every last detail of the environment around us, even down to the social network that we are a part of and the dialogical techniques required to traverse it, is concomitantly shifted in a clean shear event each time we travel.
We don’t have the evolutionary adaptations to deal with this kind of total and universally simultaneous variability. We aren’t easily this flexible; it renders our wonderful systematizing and analytical skills effectively moot, because it tends to render our knowledge and observation moot.
Every time I do this I feel completely and entirely destabilized and lost.
Also, plane trips from west to east (or vice versa) are very long and a pain in the ass and I’m not looking forward to that, either, nor the airtran and subway ride back from JFK. Not to mention the strange apprehension I have here now, as though I’ve never been on the subway in my life.
Shifting contexts again. It’s like being a dozen different people, each of them different, one “me” for each place I’ve lived, none of them quite the same or with quite the same personal history.