Life abroad has its highs and its lows. For me, the highs always seem to come while I’m exploring new places like Phillip Island; experiencing new things like riding two-up on a motorcycle; and meeting new people like Caroline and Kane. But oh, those dreaded lows and how I loathe them. They’re things like almost getting hit by a bus because I was looking the wrong way when crossing the street; or having to wait until Thursday to do any sort of shopping after 5pm; or teaching myself the metric system in order to cook my favourite recipes at home.
I feel sort of trapped and suspended between two worlds: America, the past and Australia, my present. It’s an uneasy state because I feel like I can never quite settle down. There’s nothing really wrong, I mean, I can honestly say I’m content and happy–I just feel a bit…lost. Maybe it’s because the mentality I had when I arrived was that Australia was temporary–my employment contract was only for a year and after that, I’d return to Cali. But I fell in love, got married to an Aussie (he’s amazing by the way), quit my job, wrote a book, and now it’s been almost three years. I don’t see myself going back anytime soon and yet, I don’t see myself living here forever.
What’s a girl to do? There’s so much I’m still getting used to, and I sometimes think that if I let myself get used to it, I’ll finally start to settle down. Perhaps that’s my fear–that once I finally start feeling settled down here, my life could be uprooted again. Would I be ready for that? Would I be ok with adapting to a new culture again? What if we were to return to my past, my previous culture? It would be different because I’d be returning as a different version of my self.
That’s how it always feels when we visit California. It’s a former life; it’s my past; it’s no longer home to me. And yet, neither is this new place. Australia has its beauties and wonders to behold, but I don’t feel as though I can ever completely relate. Home is starting to feel like less of a physical place and more of an emotional state of being.
Perhaps in a way, I’m no better than my one year old nephew who still doesn’t know how to crawl. I’m just as content in my present state as he is in his–sitting, rolling, and throwing food. But we can’t stay like this forever. He and I both have a whole lot to learn and adjust to in order to grow from year to year. So for now, it’s about taking one day at a time and casting aside any fears that may stunt my progress in the journey towards home.