Well, I’ve done it again. Skipped off to the other side of the world just in time to avoid the cold weather. I thought it would feel normal. I thought it would be return to same old routines.
I am confused that down here in Australia, it is Spring time. I am confused by the environment I am in. I am confused by the time difference. In short, I’m confused. Because the rhythm of life I have been living has been interrupted (again) and I have to readjust (again).
Earlier this year, I heard a wonderful story. It was about an eight-year-old who was having a fight with her parents about emptying the dishwasher. In the heat of the moment, she declared “I wish I was in a different family!” Without missing a beat, her mother replied, “Yes, but you would have to take yourself with you.”
I never considered this year to be running away from life. Rather, it was beginning a journey to something, although I had not a clue what that was. But what I failed to realise was that no matter where I go, I will take all of myself with me.
Sometimes, when you travel, you’re leaving so many things behind, it is easy to believe that you get to leave part of yourself as well. That element of yourself that you wish was different, or even that part of yourself you love; surely, by flying to the other side of the world and leaving physical reminders of that behind, you leave the trait behind too. But no, you take all of it with you, which in many ways is wonderful, as I wrote about a few weeks ago.
Which brings me back to the confusion. I think the most significant element of confusion is that I have changed, but people here did not watch me change. They know that I’m back, but they don’t know that I have brought all of myself back, including elements which might seem new to them. This is as confusing as suddenly being in a different season – Spring instead of Autumn. I’m expecting one thing and seeing the opposite. People look to perceive one thing and find that they can’t.
I have no answers for what this all means yet. Maybe I never will. All that I know is that right now, it would be easy to try to leave part of myself behind. Save those parts of myself that I rediscovered or became in London for London. Be the Australian Jenny in Australia. But I don’t want that. I don’t want to forget myself and everything that I have learnt and become in the last six months. I bring all of myself with me. Now I just need to figure out how to do that.
Maybe it will be simpler than I think. We’ll see!