I feel like most of my recent blog posts have been more of a scrapbook. Let's face it, nobody is interested in my scrapbook besides those in it. So I felt it was time to bring back a wordy, emotional and thought provoking entry. Here it goes...
Our time back home was amazing! But I am sure you have experienced the same thing before...you know, when you anticipate something for a long time. Then the time comes and goes. You look back on it as if it was a dream and you ask yourself, "why didn't I live more in the moment while I was doing it?" I have felt that way about past Hawaii vacations, and it was the same with my trip back home. But, really, I did live in every single moment! The moments wear I was throwing up in our hotel room because all four of us got the flu. Or the moment when I was running around my high school track reminiscing about the good ole' cheerleading days. I relished in every single moment that I was with the people that mean the most to me!
I have SO MANY personal relationships that I thrive from. Leaving for a year and returning really shows who cares about you. Now, before you start feeling guilty because you think you haven't done enough to nurture our relationship...stop! There are people I expected to hear from (and see when home) that I don't. Then there are the ones who I never expected to hear from, and our relationship has blossomed while I've been away. There are those who I rarely communicate with but when we see each other it is like time or distance never even passed. Then there are those who I lean on for strength and security. You all know who you are. Every single type of relationship serves a purpose. If we crossed paths this summer, even if just a wave and a smile or a comment on FB, it meant something to me more than you will ever know.
There is one thing that is common between the kids and I about living abroad. This visit, unlike our Christmas visit, has less emotional attachment to our physical home. As a matter of fact we all commented that we really don't feel like anywhere is home. They say, "home is where your family is" and that is all fine and dandy. But they also say, "home is where you hang your hat". When you don't have a place to hang your hat it is an odd feeling. In some sense, our apartment in China feels like home. But the temporariness of it never hides completely. This time I did long for the organized ways of our tiny place. As for our "real home", the one that someone else is living in, I would love to go back there...but cons about that seem to be creeping into our minds. It is so big! It would take A LOT of work to move back in. Hubby CANNOT go back to the horrendous commute. Does he even have a job there anymore? Is the school there the right follow up to the amazing education here in China? All of that will play out on it's own in the next year.
China welcomed us back with open arms. This time around I had a much better attitude about our return. At Christmas I was in a grouchy and depressed state of mind, but now I see I had to go through that in order to make it to where I am now. The fact is, we do have lives here and I was looking forward to getting back to reality...mainly, the gym! (I know, crazy huh?) Nevertheless, bits of anxiety had returned as we ascended into the smog. I actually had to look up words on google translate that I had known for months. In the taxi, from the airport, the driver rolled the window up on my fingers...to the point of blood! I couldn't understand if he was apologizing or blaming me. D and I went to the grocery store and a woman with twin boys was allowing them to relieve themselves inside...in a corner...on an electrical outlet! Yep, we are back in China!
Another cliché has manifested well with me. Time sure does fly! It is only five short months before we meet my amazing family in Hawaii for Christmas and New Years. And after that we will know where we are going next and be preparing for that new adventure. In the meantime, I will continue to make each day here in China the best I can. And when I have those "this is China" days...I know I have so many to help buoy me up!
Onward and Upward!
and, as always, thanks for reading.