6 years ago today (today = a little over a month ago. I’m a bit late on this post), my two suitcases and I landed in Sydney. I thought we might stay for 5 years. We’re not going home anytime soon.
It makes me sad to write that, but 6 years ago, I couldn’t imagine the clown car carrying Donald Trump hurdling recklessly towards a potential Presidency. I’ve written and deleted many paragraphs on this topic, but it’s bigger than I can talk about. Bigger than I want to think about. Bigger than Trump. If you’re here, you get it. Or, you don’t, maybe … I can’t do anything about that.
Regardless, my husband, my daughter and I will be calling Australia home for some time longer.
This is not my perfect home. There are parts of myself that I’ve lost in the past six years. My choice to stop driving has stripped me of an independence that I used to love. Leaving work outside the home has given me a lot more freedom of movement, but left me with less intellectual confidence. I don’t have the roots of family or longtime friends here.
You know what I miss the most in this world? I miss having a best friend. You know that person you feel like you’ve know forever, who you call up anytime and say, “hey, what are you up to today?” And they say, “oh, listen, I just have to run to Target to get some new pillowcases. Want to come?” And you’re like, “Uh, YES! See you in 20.” Does anyone have that once you have children, or is this a symptom of having transitory expat friends?
It’s not perfect, but Australia is going to be home for now. I can’t imagine a place I’d rather raise a child. At this stage in my life, that’s just about the only consideration that holds much weight.
But, I defiantly hold onto things from home because these little rebellions make me feel like I still have one toehold in my home:
- My American i-Tunes account
- Saying zee, not zed
- Making my kid peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch
- Using the Oxford comma
- Voting in American elections
So, a year past my expected Australian expiration date, life just carries on – me being my quirky self, happy most days, grateful for the many gifts I’ve been given in this life. Health, family, friends, beaches, flat whites, and the ability to choose which country I call home.
As I do every year, I’ll leave you with some the most significant images from my past year.