Last week was rough. My body was tired, my emotions frayed, my mind fuzzy; I was full of anxiety and very much on edge. But then everything changed. In barely a day I went from feeling probably the worst, to easily the best, I have since I arrived in Australia. It wasn’t gradual. It was almost instantaneous. It was weird. But of course lovely and most welcome. I’m not sure exactly what flipped the switch, but I’m happy to call it both a miracle and a result of being well loved – which are, really, almost the same thing.
People keep asking me about re-entry, and whether I’m struggling to re-adjust. The problem is, I’m starting again, more than returning to something. One big difference community living rather than abundant solitude. One similarity is the international flavour of the community I am living in. It’s also lovely to start reconnecting to the culture of my passport country – its beaches and parks, at least!
I have now been at SMBC for a whole week – so here are some stories from my first week of my new life here in Sydney, Australia. I am amazed at how settled and content I feel just one week in. I do expect the weight of the transition to hit at some point, but I live on a lovely campus with lovely people and am enjoying the study so far.
I have thought a lot about what it was like to leave Australia for China. It is the only other transition of this magnitude that I’ve made in my life. I knew when I left for Beijing that it was a Real Move, a permanent change, that I would not be going back to where I was, or who I was, before. I feel the same way now – that this is a bigger change than I can articulate.
I leave Cambodia for Australia tomorrow morning, 11 years since I first moved to China. I have crammed a lot into those 11 years! My whole adult life, the whole span of time lived outside my parents’ house. My entire career. All the things I did on my own, as an independent adult, I did in those 11 years.
You might assume that as a language of pictograms, Chinese would have no acronyms. I always did. Turns out I was wrong. Chinese has a cleverly simple way to create standard abbreviations even with no phonetic alphabet.
I enjoy having an outlet for my thoughts and I am constantly surprised that many other people are interested in those thoughts. As this year comes to a close I’ve been looking back over this year’s overlap between what I find interesting and what you find interesting – the posts that received the most traffic in 2014.
This is the fourth country I’ve spent Christmas in, the tenth time I’ve spent the day outside Australia. Christmas is celebrated differently everywhere, so here are some decorations and some of my favourite Christmas videos – just for fun!