When I was 28 years old, I left Australia to spend some time with an American man I'd met when I was working on Hamilton Island in the tropics (who I later married). I didn't then know that I would be leaving my home country for over 12 years. I did have four trips back to Australia in that time, but they were only 30 days or less each time. I don't think I ever gave myself time to let go of the people, places, attachments and history that I had in Australia. Not that I think that is entirely necessary, but in order to fully embrace living in a foreign country, it would have been helpful if I could have lived more in the moment and less with a sense of longing for something else. The whole time I lived in the USA, I felt as though a part of me was somewhere else.
Being back in Australia for four years now, I see things through different eyes. Maybe I had only remembered things of my past from the perspective of that younger (less mature) version of me. Most of those people have changed, places have grown, attachments don't feel the same and history feels like it was someone else's. I have enjoyed visiting places I knew when I was younger, but it also feels good to keep moving. I have enjoyed reconnecting with old friends, and it has been fun to talk about old times, but then it is really sweet to return to my family, to what we have built together, to what is happening for us, right now. Those friends have their own lives now which is different to what we had once shared. I appreciate the new friends we have made. I have loved time spent with my extended family here, although it has been rare as everyone is so busy, and so spread out and petrol is so expensive to get anywhere. My history here feels vague, and I also am aware of the history we have in the USA. I finally feel as though I can let go of attachments and more fully embrace the present and the future, wherever I am.
The new year brings a list of possibilities for our family, which may involve travel and / or moving within Australia and / or overseas. At this stage, we just don't know. We do know that change is coming, and we are open to that and are exploring all of the different options. I think I may have had a romantic view in my head of what it would be like to live back in Australia. The reality is that it has been wonderful, and exciting, and challenging, and expensive and a huge learning experience. I have grown in many ways, but feel it is time to move on, even if it means going somewhere I have been before. The difference is that I feel different, and I feel more whole within myself and more peaceful and more able to enjoy the moment for what it actually is, instead of some romantic notion of something that was. I have a deep appreciation for this moment and all of the people and places and experiences that have brought me here. I Trust that things are unfolding as they should and I look forward to all of the adventures 2011 has to offer.
May your days be filled with love for your self, all of the people in your life, and every single moment.