Where the heart is

I was on my way to the airport to pick up a very good friend who is coming back home for good (at least, for the time being) when the innate thought hits me – the difficulty of settling back at home. People often talk about the difficulty of leaving home, but rarely anyone talks about the part where you come home for good after year(s) abroad.

It may come off as an over exaggeration – heck, I have only spent one year of my life oceans, continents, cultures and time zones away, so it is definitely no comparison to those who spent years away from home – but how do people settle back home once they are back for good? Do they struggle as much as I do? It has been a bit over a year since I came home, but there is so much about home, the people and most of all, myself, that has changed.

Living back at home initially was not the easiest for me. The bulk of the problem was my freedom to do anything and to go anywhere at my own time and expense. I came home to a culture that was all too familiar yet distant. I had to be more wary of my surroundings and my belongings – something that I did not have to worry too much when I was in the UK. I came home to mediocre and less friendly customer service. (Also, where do I find Primark and £1 pack of ham here???)

On the other hand, it definitely was not a walk in the park for my parents too. They had to deal with a now-rebellious kid (their words… HAHAHA) who saunters in and out of the house at any hour of the day to her own liking. They struggled to see eye-to-eye with my thoughts and opinions, claiming that I am ‘too westernised’; at one point last year they even claimed that I forgotten about my roots and grounds of belief!

I found out that it is only normal to feel that way, but I saw how easily most people fit in back home. I don’t know why settling back at home affected me so much. Maybe the independence and freedom I had made it difficult, knowing that there would be unwritten rules to abide at home. Maybe it is the change in everything, from people to places to routines, that instils some sort of fear in me. Maybe it is the inevitable next step to adulthood and the real world that I have to take scares me. I feared feeling out of place and being unable to blend into conversations. I feared the changes in myself that I have to come to terms with.

I guess the initial bigger part of the reason was because of the anticipated change in a particular friendship when I am back home. It is knowing that the short-lived moments came with an expiration date, and being back home shifts the nature of it. It is the fear in letting go of the one happiest, heart-fluttering, butterflies-in-my-stomach times that I had.
[This is another story altogether, and I’d rather not talk about it.]

Coming home entails embracing changes,
accepting the changed person I am,
and facing the reality of growing up.
Despite all of that,
I am glad to be home.

… Ah, jeez. What a rant-y mood I am in today.


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