Holding two places in my mind-frame and consciousness has never been my strength. When I went to Europe for the summer as a teenager, I only contacted my parents a handful of times. I was so busy seeing the Colosseum, and listening to music in Irish pubs, I just couldn't picture my poor mother at home, having no idea where I was, or what I was doing.
Approaching two years in Houston, this morning I realized that my life in Sydney that was so crisp, and real is becoming fuzzy, and less real. My life here seems quite true. What I pay seems to be what things should cost. What I do seems normal, and reasonable. I shrug off things that used to jar me. This life has become comfortable, and familiar, when it used to be foreign and unfamiliar.
It's okay for this life to be familiar. I won't fight that today. It is a relief that some of the strained newness and angularity has worn off.
Finding that my ability to instantly transport myself to Sydney in my mind has slowed, left me feeling sad. I'm thinking in North American seasons. Measuring in inches and feet. Calculating in U.S. dollars. And when I look for a rhythm for what's coming next, I think back to this time last year - which took place here, in Houston, and gives me the clues I need to move forward.
With such a massive time difference, the connection between the U.S. and Sydney has always been hard to maintain. This is partially the reason for us being here for this season. If we had felt fulfilled in our connection to family back in the States, we might not have felt the need to return. But we didn't. And now, an ocean away from my dear friends, I don't.
Today I spent some time chatting on line with a dear friend I made in Sydney. She lives in Switzerland at the moment. I also spent some time talking to another dear friend about possible school options back in Sydney. Being able to have a back-and-forth real time chat, even over the internet, was so life-giving.
I watched two Aussie shows, and then spent time looking at schools online. Street and neighborhood names that I had forgotten sprang to life. Zeroing in on one school option, I looked at houses nearby, and understood precisely where we could attend church, and what our life would look like. Through the lens of the real estate ads, I settled into the comfort of yellow pine floors, and all white bathrooms, Aussie style interiors that are all about simplicity and sunshine.
Before I knew it, I'd found it. That feeling of knowing the place, the people, and country, was sparked.
What a relief. I felt so untethered when I thought I'd forgotten. One of the most vulnerable places in my heart is that I won't be able to go back, or that upon returning, I won't be able to find my place in Australia again.