This morning at 7:40 am, I arrived back in Melbourne after a four week visit with my family in the US. To say that I did some crying on the flight, and in the airport, and very nearly when going through customs is an understatement.
So yes, I'm jetlagged, I'm tired, I go back to work tomorrow, and although Monday didn't exist for me, it appears that while Inspector Climate and I flew over the pacific ocean Australia got a new Prime Minister! Big day, ya'll.
I have so many exciting adventures to share of our trip and also coming the upcoming weeks and months – Big News (I'm not pregnant) – in fact. But at the moment, I'm feeling... sad.
You'd think that after doing something for nearly a decade that one would become better at it – but every goodbye at the airport feels more permanent, more acute, and more painful then the ones before.
I don't handle jet lag well, and for the first time I think I'm putting the pieces together on why that is: I'm not just dealing with jet lag, but a cocktail of grief and exhaustion (most definitely on the rocks – I'm sorry for that, I couldn't help myself). And just maybe it is the grief that I'm the slowest at getting over. It isn't surprising that the symptoms of grief are similar to those of jet lag: tired well before any normal adult should be going to bed, lethargy, waking up in the middle of the night and being unable to sleep.
When I'm living my life here in Australia, I feel so – and I'm sorry for using this word, but it's true – blessed that I am able to do it. That I live in a place that for whatever reason inspires me to be the best version of myself (most days). That I have a job I love, and am married to truly saintly human being – who I never would have met if I had not been here. I can't really imagine not living here.
But when I go home, and I am surrounded by truly green things I feel so refreshed, rejuvenated, and whole.
I'm not sure if other expats feel this way as well, but homesickness is the hardest to bear the two weeks prior, during, and the two weeks post going back home.
I'll leave you with a picture of me fighting (and losing) jet lag once I'd gotten to the US – but it was much more bearable because I had my parents cat to keep me company in the wee hours of the morning.