This week, I’m home.
Home in the glorious sunshine, under blue skies, amongst my family and friends. Home with fresh seafood, bursting with flavour, where my childhood snacks beckon, where my favourite homemade dishes are demanded and cooked by my parents, willing to pamper and spoil for the limited week this year we get together.
I love it, and I hate it.
I love feeling my body, long hunched inwards in a permanent defensive huddle against the cold, unfurl and stretch as I walk out of the airport in the warmth. I love bring surrounded by the chatter and laughter of the people I miss, love knowing that here, in Sydney, there will always be a place for me.
But the years have flittered by, so much quicker than I expected. A year, or two, away from home has become five, or six. And I know that my time away is coming to an end.
The end isn’t imminent. Not at all. But I know, that one day, in the not too distant future, that decisions will have to be made.
When you hit your mid 30’s and you’re married, the big picture starts becoming the BIG PICTURE. We’ve got no house. In fact, we’ve got no property at all, excepting multiple electronic devices that will shortly be superseded by the next models up (oh wait – that happened already). We’ve got no pensions, or superannuation, or a hope in heck of early retirement. We’ve got no kids. NO KIDS! And let’s be honest, we aren’t going to have any kids if I don’t have 24 hour a day grandparent support services on hand.
So the question is: are we happy with a life of no responsibilities, with no roots (“hell yeah!” I cry); or are we looking for more?
And thinking about what “more” could be, is pretty damn scary.
Whichever which way we cut it, somehow “more” in our minds always points back home.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where my fear comes from. Moving home has become synonymous with growing up. The point in our lives where travelling will have to be more considered. Where eating out will be less frequent. Where disposable income will be no more, as we pour our earnings into the old bricks and mortar everyone puts so much stock in. Where we might actually have other members of our family unit we’ll have to put first. Little people who aren’t able to fend for themselves. And heck knows I have enough problems fending for myself on a day to day basis, let alone worrying about anyone else.
But the truth is: the scariest things are the things you stand to gain from the most. The experiences you walk away from, glowing, basking in having found the courage to take part in.
So who knows whether this will be the last time we’re home before we’re HOME? All we know is it’s good to be back.