Friday, November 28, 2008

Sydney Girl In Florida?

My three and five year old boys spent ten, yes ten hours, on the flight from Sydney to Los Angeles watching the "flight plan" on their personal Qantas televisions; my plan was that they were supposed to be sleeping. The good news is that they chatted in their giggly little-boy voices for hours and were having grand old time, if only I could have slept through it-- everything would have been perfect.

Upon arrival in Miami, we dragged our luggage through the chaotic airport and passed a middle-aged Hispanic airport employee rolling a large cart through the crowds loudly shouting "Es-cuse me! Watch out. Es-cuse me!". I instinctively responded with a "Welcome to Miami! It's great to be home!" The friends and family standing at the exit awaiting their arrivals cheered at my enthusiasm.

And, well, I was told being back would be weird-- and it is. I know it sounds dramatic, but no one knows what I've been through, and it doesn't feel like anyone can fully understand.

I left Florida a year and a half ago in a whirlwind of excitement, nervousness, fear, and optimism. Now being home feels like I'm in a time warp; everything is so much the same, but I've changed in so many ways.

I felt the need to take my sister with me to get coffee, because I was driving on the "other" side of the road and wanted to be safe. The rooms and televisions in my house look so big. I feel like I'm looking at everyone and everything differently, this year has profoundly changed me. Here I am, now-- home, questioning everything I thought I knew.

Hanging out with GlassBreaker last week finally helped me put this experience into words. This year has been filled with contradiction. Living in the most beautiful and lively city I've ever been in, whilst being horribly isolated and usually feeling very out of place. It's a peculiar situation; so much to gain from the experience, but at what cost?

And obviously, life goes on here without me. For Thanksgiving my mom made an apple pie, and my sister made some nasty looking crustless pumpkin pie thing. I don't even like pie. Would it be wrong for me to shake them while screaming, "I've been away for 18 months and neither of you could make a Thanksgiving dessert that I actually like??". Seriously?

Okay, okay, I still ate the delicious gluten-free chocolate cake that Dr. Jill (my sister) made today but it was a day late and a dollar short baby (huh, I don't even know what I'm saying-- I'm still delirious from the 16 hour time change). And I do know that they actually were beyond excited for us to be here-- but seriously-- Mom, Dr. Jill-- you gots to hook a sista up.



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21 comments:

anater said...

I'm glad to hear you had a good flight back. I'm going to live vicariously through you for the next month, so post often with your US adventures! Oh, and have a pint of Ben and Jerry's for me, would you?

Christine said...

Welcome back and Happy Thanksgiving! Have you been to Publix yet?

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Ana- Thanks, I will do that fer sure-- and I'll let you know what else I do so you can enjoy it thru me too.

Christine- I'm headed to Target today, and probably will hit Publix on Monday. My mom had already done the shopping before we got here!

Jill Stevens, Licensed Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist said...

well at least i heard this stuff way before you wrote it cuz otherwise i;d just be mad. glad you're back ho.

Danielle said...

Great post! Glad to hear you are home and your flight was good. Can't wait to hear more about your time at home, enjoy!!!

Jill Stevens, Licensed Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist said...

you're a whore.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Jill, fyi- I took photos of the pumpkin pie and apple pies. I hope you're happy. Oh, and your mom's a whore.

Danielle- I have a feeling there's going to a lot to tell.

Ali said...

Welcome home, I sure know how you feel, its a great feeling. And yes everyhing looks bigger compared to Europe and I guess Australia. Glad you are enjoying it

Marvin the Martian said...

How fun, I'm glad you're back "home"!

opinioneater said...

Glad you'll be posting from the U.S. I'll live vicariouly through you. I agree, going back is such a weird experience. Everytime I hit the ground at LAX I sort of feel like I'm back in my own skin again or that I'm a fish that's been thrown back in the water. At the same time, nobody there quite understands the "fish" that you were when you were out of the water and how the water feels different once you're back.
Have fun!

Erin said...

I understand the surreal feelings and I do know what you are going through. I know living in Australia and Sydney in particular is something people dream of. But yes, at what cost? Keep your bonds with your friends and family strong and you'll get through it! I'm so glad you are back and enjoying yourself thus far! Hope you are taking lots of photos!

Anonymous said...

Hey- This is Mr. "Florida Girl in Sydney" aka- "Big Daddy" or perhaps "Florida Boy in Sydney" if you prefer.

I'm missing the Fla girl and the chipmunks. Looking forward to joining the family in the USA for Christmas/New Years. I about chewed thru the phone cord today when I heard Cheescake Factory was being served for dinner. (Chicken Romano is still my all time favorite :))

nursemyra said...

girl, you need to teach your mama how to make pavlova

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Ali- Thanks, it does feel good to be home!

Marvin- Thanks!

Opinoneater- Yep, everything you said!

Erin- Thanks, I'll eat some Cheesecake Factory for you. Or let me know what I should have in your honor!

Big Daddy (FL boy in Sydney)- We miss you so much. The boys cannot wait to see their daddy. I love you.

Nursemyra- What is that, I feel like I know, but can't remember???

Gypsy said...

I hope you enjoy your visit and get lots of Florida/Stateside stuff in before you head back "home."

Dirty Pirate Hooker said...

Dude, I thought I would the only person on earth who hated pie. I also hate ham and casserole. And every fucking year we have ham for Christmas dinner, breakfast casserole for Christmas breakfast, and fucking pie for dessert.

I hate my family.

A Free Man said...

It's hard to go back, isn't it? I find it stranger every time I go back. And the TVs? Madness.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Gypsy- Yep, I'll be cramming it all in -- I've hit Target and Publix so far and I 'll be going to the all you can Ross Dress for Less buffet soon.

DPH- Yeah, I took photos of the apple pies in the garbage-- too bad they didn't make something I liked-- it would have gotten eaten. Yep, pie sucks.

Freeman- Totes.

Deidre said...

Going back to the states is one of the most confusing things for me. Enjoy your time there.

I can't believe you flew by yourself with two kids for that flight! good on you! I can barely keep my act together on my own.

nursemyra said...

Pavlova is a light as air confection with a crisp exterior and a marshmallowy texture inside. It's topped with real whipped cream (never out of a can) and either passionfruit, strawberries or crumbled flaked chocolate.

Rumoured to be named for the ballerina Anna Pavlova. It's New Zealand's national dessert but australia is always trying to claim it as its own.....

Bluestreak said...

I completely understand the feeling of time standing still. I sometimes feel that way right when I get home, but then I realize stuff has changed and it makes me sort of angry that life goes on without me. I´m kind of selfish like that. I don´t like it when my favorite restaurants and bars shut down and my friends start hanging out at new places and don´t understand why I want to go back to that old dump we used to hang out at.