Anything Other Than Temporary

I’m pretty glad I didn’t update last night after moving my stuff (which at this point in time consists of two stuffed-to-the-brim bags that barely made it into checked luggage and some very pretty bedding I got at the half-off sale at Briscoe’s last week) from my dear friend Alice’s house in Mt. Victoria to my new flat in Haitaitai, because the whole entry would have just been like AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA for paragraphs and paragraphs and that doesn’t make for very interesting reading, I don’t think. Much better that I hung up my octopus painting that Tracy gave me in July and put the crocheted octopus my sister made me for Christmas next to the airbed my flatmate’s boyfriend lent me and drank some tea and went to bed early, because I was in a state. The flat is beautiful, the flatties are fantastic, the new duvet cover is very design-y and graphic, and yet I was a pure hot mess last night. My last thought before I went to sleep was “What the HELL am I doing HERE?”

Not just what was I doing under my new design-y graphic duvet cover on a borrowed airbed, you understand. What was I doing in Haitaitai instead of in Mt. Victoria with Alice or in Berhampore in my old room in A’s house by the golf course with the tuis singing outside, what was I doing commuting to a new job where I feel absolutely out of my depth, what was I doing in this country where I have to get used to two-dollar coins and texting instead of calling and driving on the other side of the road all over again instead of back in the States where I had finally, after about six months, learned to do things there again and remembered how much I really love all my friends and family there. What was I doing, applying for residency here, as if I’m really going to live here, like, maybe for a while, like maybe not just as a sort of jokey just-turned-thirty adventure (because I haven’t been thirty for a while, you know) but maybe for real, like really living here. What was I doing, and why was I doing it?

Well, anyway, last night after I got back from work, Pete and Alice dropped me off here and I realized I’d left my olive oil and my razor and my phone charger over there as soon as they left. Alice acted like she was dropping me off at college for freshman orientation, giving me lots of hugs and reassuring me that I could come back to visit whenever I wanted. Both my new flatmates—interestingly, they are both named Rachel, one blonde and one dark, and they are as lovely as lovely can be—were super comforting and nice to me, letting me eat their peanut butter and toast and showing me how to work the washer so my new sheets wouldn’t have that crunchy right-out-of-the-package feel. We chatted about boys and about crafting for a little while, which I feel bodes well, as does the very spacious and well-stocked kitchen, but I still felt a little nervous and out of sorts. I was still a little off-balance this morning, as I discovered when I was on the bus and realized that for the first time since I was about thirteen years old, I had left the house without a bra.

And I still don’t know how this is all going to work out. I know it was the right thing to come back here, but I don’t know how long it’s right to stay. I don’t know if I’ll ever think in terms of anything other than temporary, more or less. I feel like I belong here, like it fits me but you know what? Maybe there are a lot of places that would feel like that and this just happens to be the one I’m living in now. Nothing’s fixed, nothing’s certain.

But I’m feeling a little more settled, it’s true. It helps to sort out the bus route and the groceries. Yesterday when I texted blonde Rachel that I was on my way, she said “Come on over—I mean come on home!” and maybe she’s right. Maybe it’s possible that I have found another home here, one of many I’ve lived in, all over the world now. I think I’m pretty lucky that way.

On The Deck

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  1. It’s that psychosis of settling in after the rush of adrenaline to get there starts wearing off. I couldn’t understand why I freaked out two months after we moved when I’d been okay up to that point. I missed my old job, I missed my old people and I hated job hunting with a white hot passion. And we moved two states away, same time zone, still in the South East of the U.S., to a place I’d lived before and loved. You’ve done this plenty of times so I feel silly giving any advice, but maybe just a reminder: you’ll start settling in to the day-to-day and one day you’ll realize everything is good again.

  2. Yay octopus painting! Yay making yourself at home (because I know you will). And may I mention, yet again, how jealous that picture makes me, on this freaking cold February day in New York City? Oops, guess I just did! Also: LOVE.

  3. Dude, is that your new porch?? AWESOME!!!

  4. Jecca is right, if that is the view from your new flat then you’re a lucky girl! :)