So what happens when the [you know what] hits the fan and you don’t know which way is up?
You soul search.
And that’s what I’ve been doing these last couple of weeks—in between Christmas, hiking, swimming, New Year’s Eve, and long walks by the beach. (Yeah, Oz isn’t all that bad, I must admit.) I suppose that sometimes it takes a moment of crisis to have real clarity, though it sucks royally when you’re in the midst of it.
Somewhere during my third and fifth weeks here, I had a spectacular knee-jerk reaction to electively removing myself from the country and life I had known for 36 years. I didn’t think I wouldn’t be homesick; I just didn’t expect it to be that pervasive. It’s incredibly difficult to have to choose between the things you love, to try to guestimate your future level of happiness based on what you’re willing to give up. But it redefines you. And I guess that is how you adapt. You stop remembering (in the most disgruntled way) all the great things you’ve left behind, and you construct a new existence based on the ingredients you now have at hand.
So many of you have reached out to me over the last two weeks, but I could not bring myself to respond to the many emails and messages I’ve received because I just needed some time to figure things out over here. I am deeply grateful to all of you for your support and the love you have sent me—I can feel it from 10,000 miles away. Thank you all for being the rock-solid friends I needed to get me through this. Your words and messages helped me stay the course, and like many of you said, it does get better. It. Just. Takes. Time.
Anyway, over here in Oz, it’s already a brand new year and I am excited about it. 2008 was the wildest, most unpredictable year of my life—but it was probably the year I grew the most. I learned a hell of a lot about myself and what it feels like to really let go, to take risks and find the fortitude you need when you feel like there is nothing left of the person you once were. I had the highest highs and the lowest lows, but I made it through.
Every New Year’s Day, we collectively mark the passage of time, and if we’re lucky, we acknowledge it surrounded by the people we love and adore. When you’re done reading this post, go tell your partner or your parents or your children how much you love them, what they mean to you. Enjoy your time together, because it is precious, borrowed time.
And have a very happy New Year!