I read a fabulous blog today that brought so much stuff flooding back, stuff in my need to plough ahead in my life I avoid thinking about. Not deny ever happened but simply avoid. I’m sure by now I’ve mentioned often my recently acknowledged life strategy to you, that of avoidance?? The blog, her current journey with cancer and emotions associated are so familiar to me. So real. Yet so far away. But today they were right here. I now acknowledge how much time I’ve lost. Or gained. I lived, I was there, I was so very there, but also somewhere else. There was so much I hadn’t signed up for or hadn’t realised I’d signed up for. So much that I lost and gained, that I had to redefine myself in inordinate ways. Redefine probably isn’t the right word, but rediscover. Actually probably not rediscover either, but discover. Discover me. But before I could even take a breath from my last treatment, we relocated to another country. To no-one and nothing. I had to start again without even knowing who I was anymore. I’m starting to understand why I adopted avoidance as a strategy. It was just less painful. It’s four years now to the day (we arrived in Australia on 16 May 2008) and I’m still faltering. Still discovering. But I’ve decided, I’m no longer avoiding. But I’m also not ploughing ahead. I’m just on pause. And actually, that’s ok.
Is it wonderful to be home? It’s wonderful to be with my family. But it feels more and more like a holiday than a trip home. If being with your parents is being home, then yes it is wonderful to be home, but what is home? Is it where you live? Is it where your heart is? Is it where your children are? Is it a feeling? Or is it just an idea? For me it’s all of these things. The first words when we arrived were, is it nice to be home? But as much as this is where I was born, where my parents are, where my brother and his family are and will always be a part of me, it’s not my home anymore. I have wonderful memories of my life here, of my childhood, of growing up, of making mistakes, of learning, of building myself and my career, of falling in love and starting and growing a family, of illness and wonder. All within the wonderful warm embrace of my loving family and caring friends. And that is all with me no matter where I am. But I am now so much a visitor here, four years is a very long time. I look for the familiar and find it and love it, because it makes me belong. But there is so much that is new, or rather that has just moved on, that I am not part of anymore. And that used to scare me but now it doesn’t. It just is. And that’s reassuring. That it doesn’t scare me anymore, I mean. I am always mindful of those I love who still live here, who would rather I said, yes this is still home. But I know that they would rather I embraced where I am and looked forward not backwards. I wrote before that I now know that we can be anywhere and this trip so far has confirmed that. This is so present, yet it feels like my past. And I don’t mean that I want to leave it behind because it is also still my present and always will be within me, but it’s not home. It’s a place I used to feel at home. But I don’t live here anymore.