This time last year in March 2021 I was flying 14 hours home from China, another place I got to call home for some time. As the second country, I got to settle in after moving abroad from the states, and essentially the 19th country I got to travel to and within, I was heading home with no clear end in sight. A first occurrence in the past 5 years of my life.
It’s been one year. It’s been challenging. It’s been a never-ending flow of questions thrown at me by friends and family both near and far, online and in person. Even my therapist has asked, multiple times. And for the first time, I don’t know. I don’t know what’s next. I have so many things on my list that their order is shuffled in my brain and doesn’t always match my current lifestyle or needs. I want to travel and move abroad again, but I need/want to establish myself at home first. This requires working a typical 9-5 job that will benefit my resume, and wallet and help sustain my candidacy for a home loan, another thing I want in order to feel established here in Los Angeles. I’m way past the age where I want and need my own space. But apart from the physical space, a place of my own will grant me, it will be a place I get to come home to after leaving again (fingers xx) rather than going home to my parents first and then struggling to find an apartment and redecorating a new place, again. I want a home for my closet, my furnishing, the special collection of dishes I’ve thrifted along the way, the refugee art and creative pieces I’ve collected both at home and abroad. Right now, everything of the sort is collected in boxes stuffed under the bed or in the closet of my childhood bedroom at my parents’ house. And boy are they itching to stretch and shine as I knew each item was destined to when I first purchased them.
Intentional shopping is a hobby of mine. One with a blurred silver lining, unfortunately.
Relationships are a big factor that continuously shifts and influences any physical moves. The need to think for two and consider each others’ own personal goals, stabilities and abilities to thrive in a new place is challenging to maneuver through.
What are we both willing to compromise, and what are hard no’s?
If I leave now, how old will my parents be when I decide to come back?
How long do I want to live away?
If I leave in 3 years, once I’m finally established, it’ll all only be riskier. Parents will be even older,
The family will only grow with new nieces and nephews and other major milestones.
Is satisfying my own goals worth missing out on pivotal, once in a lifetime, memories?
Professionally, I must consider if the jobs I will be taking will benefit my career or deviate me further from my end goal and vocation. I still want to have fun though. I want to be creative and learn new, fun hobbies like embroidering and how to make different coffees. One day i would like to own a cafe. However, this desire is completely different from my vocation as a humane educator and writer. Is merging the two sustainably possible. How long will it take to accomplish this goal and what do I need to be doing now in order to set myself up for the future. Does this match the aforementioned needs, desires, and concerns?
I’m tiring myself out now. But you get the gist of it. When life begins to sit still, you are able to finally pay deep attention to everything that is YOU. Everything you want, where you want to go, how you want to get there and so much more.
I’m here to say, it’s a mess. It’s all a mess. And although I know I am indeed working towards it in my own unique ways, I also know that it’s not a traditional way of living. Not for everyone else who doesn’t feel the need to move about and live in new and challenging settings. Being the oddball in these senses is another set of emotional challenges I’m learning to work with.
So, I’ve put my larger suitcases away, for now (I won’t be needing them just yet) and have begun collecting the items I want to cherish for the rest of their and my time here on earth. It’s a tactful challenge that requires critical thinking, intention, and self-awareness. What is even my style in all of this? That’s a happy jumbled mess too.
Time and time again I am reminded of how I always end up choosing the harder, unconventional route. Why is that?
Perhaps I like a little thrill. Perhaps I was meant to fly. Perhaps, this is what it means to live.
Perhaps, it simply just makes me happy. Continuous challenge and growth make for a good story.
I like a good story.