Have you ever seen shape memory alloys? They’re pretty cool pieces of metallurgical engineering. You can distort them, and then by changing temperature, they go back to their original set shape:
I think the same phenomenon happens in people, to a certain extent. At least it does with me.
Whenever I go on an excursion which is chock full of new experiences, I find that I sort of “expand” to take them all in. The sights, the people, the newness, the adventure, all serve to change my shape.
And like a hobbit leaving the Shire, by the end of the journey, I’m elementally the same but fundamentally different.
But then, as all good things do, it comes to an end and I find myself home and trying to fit back into my routine existence.
At first it chafes a bit– my new shape not wanting to yield and conform to the old confines. But then slowly, over a few days, shape memory takes over and I revert to the original form of my life.
The difference here, though, is while my external “self” has shape memory, my internal “self does not. The sense of loss lingers awhile– inside I’m like a balloon that’s lost air, the stretched skin now puckered and thin.
And mourning the loss.
I’m sure that by Friday, routine will have taken hold, and by this weekend I’ll be right as rain and back to my old self.