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.