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Today is my first Americaversary. The day I stepped off a plane at LAX, negotiated the perpetually-upset Customs officials and got my passport imprinted with that beautiful two-year visa stamp.
So I’ve spent the morning on Nostalgia Parkway – looking through old photos of my niece and nephews and life on the farm, thinking about my last few days in Sydney before I moved. It’s easy to see things as they weren’t.
I really want to hug the kids, give them each a massive smooch and read them There’s a Woset in my Closet. I want to sit around and shoot the shit with my brothers – tease them and play Uno and try to one up them with “most annoying customer” stories. Mostly I think I miss the certainty of life and knowing where I’d be in the next 10 years.
It wasn’t all bad, I did get to escape up the water tower sometimes, and watch my grandparents count cows from the window.
But the truth is I couldn’t have been happier to leave Australia. It marked an end to a particularly difficult chapter in my life that included the death of a parent, a job in the family business that wasn’t at all taxing on my mind or using any of my skills, and a perceived dead end.
So taking off the rose-coloured glasses: The kids would climb all over me while I was trying to read to them and scream “Aunty, you’re a bumbumhead” in my ear. There’s not much time to sit around playing cards on the farm, and any conversation when you’re dog-tired from non-stop physical labour isn’t going to be that riveting. And the only reason I knew where I was going to be, was because it was the same place I’d been for the preceding four years – bored and unhappy.
Basically I’m missing an idea I’ve made up in my head. And people. I miss my friends and family pretty badly. Keeping that in mind allows me to feel a little less scared about what’s in my future. My visa has exactly a year left and then it’s all uncertainty. Decision making is not my forte.
Do I apply for another visa and hope for the best? What if it’s rejected? Do I pack Mr M in my suitcase and go home? Long distance relationships aren’t cool. What kind of work would I do anyway?
Luckily, it’s only been a year and I have a whole other one to figure out the answers to all of these questions and more.
Happy Americaversary!