Today is Australia Day, and I have so many mixed feelings about it – about being an expatriate, and about the date itself.
“Your worst You is coming”… I remember the very moment this hit home for me. I’ve decided to tell you the story. It’s a story that most people enjoy – except me! … This wasn’t my worst “China day”. This was my worst ME day in China.
Recently I’ve written several drafts on cross-cultural life for my ‘work’ blog that are more personal in nature, more emotional in style. I think the decision to make writing my outlet again somehow overflowed naturally.
Blogging is a discipline that reminds me to connect – to look around, to notice, to appreciate. To focus on small details. To tell small stories about real life. I used to write those sorts of small stories about my life in China. I think it’s time to start telling them again.
This was the week I finally accepted something I already knew to be true, not just as an idea but as a reality. Repatriation is hard. It takes time – a lot of time. And there is no shortcut. It is challenging to invest in a place my heart is not attached to – my mind has been in the world that I have known and loved and invested in for more than a decade.
Call it transition, call it grief, call it whatever you like, the result is that I just feel tired. But I was inspired by a list of “used to”s – things she used to do, and things she’s getting used to now. I thought it was an interesting way to reflect on how different the details of life can be during a transition. So here are my own “used to” lists…
I leave Cambodia for Australia tomorrow morning, 11 years since I first moved to China. I have crammed a lot into those 11 years! My whole adult life, the whole span of time lived outside my parents’ house. My entire career. All the things I did on my own, as an independent adult, I did in those 11 years.