06 January 2013


Coming home for the holidays, I had my expectations. I expected to be a little jet lagged (there is a 13-hour time difference that is killer on the body). I expected to be excited to see people once I was actually here (because I was not really excited while I was still in Singapore). I expected to spend a lot of time relaxing or sleeping  (I did not get as much down time as I anticipated). What I wondered was, “Will I feel different this time?” Will there be some unseen crevasse between me and my friends or family members? Have I changed at a rate that would somehow distance me from others? Have my world views changed so much that I cannot bear to communicate with those I left behind?

Though I have different experiences that have made me see America in a new light, I do not feel any different than those around me. I enjoy telling others about my life in Singapore and the other places I have had the opportunity to visit. I love talking about the differing cultures and the Asian way of life. What was surprising, however, was how my views of where home is diverted.

What about my feelings toward actually being in America? Before I left Singapore, I would have been absolutely content not ever stepping foot on U.S. soil again. Ever. I had the expat bug and I only wanted to think about the next country in which I would be living. Last year there was a point in our trip when my whole body switched off; I just wanted to get back to Singapore as quickly as possible. Never did I imagine that being home this time would make me want to spend more time here.

With three months left on Paul’s contract and no concrete post-contract offers, we are beginning to seriously discuss our alternatives. Paul will be negotiating a new contract with his boss when we return to Singapore but, as with any negotiations, there are risks and we are not yet certain if we will be staying.

Being home, astonishingly, has made both of us realize how much we have to miss. We have aging grandmothers, as many do. My godfather is fighting cancer and, though he is looking better than I ever could have imagined, I am reminded of how much I want this guy in my life. I missed the birth of three babies and other little ones are quickly growing. My mom will likely be having one or two surgeries in the coming year, my best friend is going through fertility treatments, we have three graduations and a family wedding and, cherry, Taylor Swift is touring, but only in America. There are a lot of reasons to be a little closer to home.

But does that mean we have to be American? No! We can be Canadian or Mexican, though I don’t think either of us wants to be in Mexico. We could be French or British, Swiss or Australian, just as long as someone in any of those countries gives us jobs.

What am I going to do about it? I am going to take on Paul’s hobby. I am going to start applying for jobs in any random country and we’ll just see what happens. 

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