Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Contemplating Life After Vietnam
A very strange thing happens when realise that you are counting down the time you have left living overseas in months rather than years. There is a definite shift in...well...everything! We are now in the period of our posting where the majority is behind us and the imminent return to Australia is becoming more real. Of course we always knew it was coming but one day you just go"OMG...I've only got "x" amount of months to go. For us that magic figure is nine.
Now a lot can happen in nine months. A woman could have a baby (no, I'm not) or I could finish that book that has been sitting on my bedside table for 2 years. Hell, I could WRITE a book for my bedside table in nine months (no, I'm not doing that either). Ultimately though, nine months is just not enough. To be honest, I don't think any magical figure would ever be enough. The prospect of returning to Australia is exciting and daunting. As I type I still don't know whether I should write "Australia" or "home". It's very confusing! There is a large part of me that is ready and an equally large part, in the heart region mainly, that cracks open and bleeds. I panic that I have done all that I set out to do with my time here. Such grand plans when we arrived. I'm too scared to sit down a try to figure out what I achieved and what I didn't. It seemed like we had so much time in front of us.
So do I have a VN bucket list? Not really. I have just become super aware of appreciating every moment. Buying that thing that I always said I would buy before I left (ok... things), getting that dental work done, visiting that town or restaurant, doing more of that volunteer work. To be honest I think you have to try to stop yourself from turning into one of those bitter expats who seem to do nothing but complain. It is almost a self preservation thing to have the little things annoy you so badly that you WANT to leave and your heart does not get broken. Putting up the invisible barriers if you will. I have vowed to make our last nine months here even better for us than the last two and a half years. Sure, I may leave my shattered shell of a heart on the tarmac at the airport but I think we can fit a lot in in nine months. So hold on to your conical hats, it's going to be quite a ride!