A Long Way Home

Friday marks the end of my school break. I’ll begin my 30ish-hour journey back to Singapore tomorrow evening, land early Sunday afternoon, get my life in order, and head back to work first thing Monday morning. Some of my friends are already back in Singapore, but I really don’t do well with downtime. I’m already getting close to a point of emotional turmoil  so the quicker I get back into my routine, the happier I will be (and the sooner I’ll be rid of the inevitable jet lag).

I’m sure I don’t have to say that it has been wonderful being back in the US for the holidays. Mitch and I made a lot of decisions during the 4 days we spent together in New York City, and the subsequent week or so we spent together in Rochester. I feel much better about the choices we’ve made and about our future, than I did before we sat down in person and talked. Since Mitch and I have so many important discussions over the phone, I often forget the instantaneous communication of body language. In truth, body language makes tough conversations a lot easier. Silence takes on a new meaning. Togetherness matters a lot more when it’s not taken for granted.

While I was home, Mum and I took a quick trip to Montreal to see my grandparents.Seeing one’s grandparents really shouldn’t have to be a special, planned occasion. I’ll see them again over the summer when I’m back in the States, but that’s a long way away. It’s unfortunate that we had to drive for 5 hours (and then back) to make Bubbie and Zaidy dinner, but that pizza with a puff pastry crust was delicious. In some ways, we’re lucky that it’s only a 5-hour drive because it’s easy to do in a day. It’s a distance that I’ve been used to for the last 23 years, but I’ve never grown to like it. More convenient than the distance between Singapore and Rochester, though!

No matter how often I fly back and forth, or how many people I say goodbye to on either end, I’m never completely ready to leave. It was easy to leave Singapore for a 3-week break because everyone was leaving and we’d all be back soon. It wasn’t easy to leave Malaysia last June because it meant saying goodbye to my friends, possibly forever, and it wasn’t easy to leave Rochester in July. I usually find myself somewhat anxious and certainly rather despondent. It makes me reluctant to act and leads me to avoid productivity. For example, I should be collecting various clothing items and putting them in my suitcase, but I’m writing this blog entry instead. I want to get back to my home, friends, and even my job, but I don’t want to leave the family and friends I have here.

It’s a conundrum. Welcome to the fragility of life abroad.

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