23, Sydney AU


I have never thought about time travel as much as I have in the last two weeks. I have travelled so far, mostly in my thoughts (although there was that one time I was meant to go to Shanghai but accidentally went to the outskirts of Suzhou instead… But that is a blog post for another time). No one ever told us in our In-Country Study Pre-Departure Meetings that we would start to feel conflicted after a few months of making a new home. And I suppose that’s precisely it - there’s a new home, which you’ve settled nicely into and find you’re perfectly content with (in fact, really quite happy), but then there’s home, which has been yours for a good twenty one years, which is hard to ignore. In a wry metaphoric microcosm of this, my feelings regarding moving on from a relationship has more or less mirrored these feelings - it’s almost like I’m witnessing the slight fluctuations of my emotions which occur on a day to day basis, watching myself from a distance as I grow accustomed to being on my own again in the process of trying to kick a two-year habit.

And so while I’m not unhappy, it’s left me feeling somewhat… Scattered. Like I’ve forgotten some of my limbs in different rooms and I’ve got to meander around for a little while as I collect myself. I daydream about being home a lot; life is going on, after all, and while most of the time I’m not wracked with FOMO because I’ve got my own thing going on, I do watch the snapchat stories of my friends with a bit of a wistful smile and some longing in my chest. Most of all I’m after very simple things, such as the comfort you can only find in the hug of a friend who knows you, who knows all of you, who has seen more or less the totality of who you are and has made the very conscious decision that they will keep loving you anyway. Friends who know exactly how you work and who grow with you, despite the distance. Friends you could and would and WILL willingly spend forever with (you have all pledged as much to each other).

But when you’re in your comfort zone, at home, seeing the same friends, you tend to forget that there are new friends in the world you haven’t made yet. And I’m making them, and it’s so sweet, in a fierce-joyful-rush kind of way, the same way spontaneous decisions are made to go to Shanghai and to Europe in the summer. You become this self that belongs to your friends back home, but also belongs to your new friends just as much, and very little seems to matter when you are exploring the West Late with them in pitch darkness at midnight.

I am constantly surprised at my capacity to love. I shouldn’t be. I mean, I should know by now how much room one can have in one’s heart for new things and new places and new people, but I always forget. I suppose I tend to know what I love and decide I love it and will love nothing else as much, but then the next day comes and I have a fuckin brilliant day and so I’m so bowled over at how many good things can keep happening. And it’s not that I’m fickle, not that I’m changing my mind on what I love every five minutes; just that I didn’t know it was possible to love this many things at once.

I didn’t know I could be so happy somewhere else on the planet when I’d become so used to my corner of the earth. Interestingly enough, this new happiness sits strangely with me; not uncomfortably, as I don’t feel guilty feeling happy with my new friends in a new home. But it’s more like I’m not used to having two homes - I don’t quite know yet how to reconcile that. At the moment, there's no overlap in these two worlds. I want to be at both places at the same time, but I can't, so I'm left feeling a little bereft of an unidentifiable something at any given point.

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