Redefinition

Keukenhof Bell Shaped Flowers

Our decision to move back to Australia has bought with it both excitement and trepidation.  I have been yearning to go ‘home’ for several years and now that it at my doorstep it seems rather daunting.

An amusing aspect of returning home is people’s speculations on what my life will look like.  Obviously returning home will bring with it a much needed dose of reality that I am need of.  The ‘Lady of Leisure’ lifestyle that I have been enjoying will have to end as will endless coffee mornings, long lunches and the trips to the beautician.  No more girls weekends and expensive holidays three times a year.  I will have to return to the boring, humdrum lives that the rest of the world enjoys.  I will probably also have to get a job.  How else will I meet people?

Sarcasm aside, it is difficult to imagine what my life is going to look like when we go home.  My husband and I have discussed his expectations and thankfully they do not include me rushing off to find a job seconds after the wheels hit the tarmac.  His attitude is very much of ‘let’s wait and see’.  Such a wise man.

The reality is that my life will not actually change greatly from what it is now and what is has been.  Amazing that this has only just occurred to me.  I have been following my husband’s career from city to city since the day after we were married.  I have supported his desires, found work when I could and made the best out of each situation I have been placed in.  Since we have had the kids, I have made sure that they have made friends and settled comfortably into our new life.  Moving to Melbourne will be no different.

The exciting life that I have been living is very similar to the exciting life waiting for me in Melbourne.  I will arrive in a city and wait patiently for the two months it will take for my belongings to arrive.  I will find my children places in school and settle them in.  I will search for more permanent accommodation while my husband starts his new exciting job.  I will make friends where I find them.  What will be different is that I already know people in Melbourne.  Both old friends and family.

What is important for me to remember is that moving home will not redefine who I am.  It won’t.  I may grow in some areas, I may shrink in others.  I will still hate cleaning.  I will find people to have coffee with.  I will continue to absorb myself in the things that interest me.  I may even try to make some cash from a few of them.  I may not.  I will still be obsessed with the internet, with my friends I’ve left behind, with research, with cooking, with gardening, with spending money in general.

I will still be me.

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7 Responses to Redefinition

  1. Rachael Hill says:

    It will be interesting to read a retrospective piece after you have ‘landed’ in your new life back ‘home’ to see how different/receptive the people are to starting new friendships. The refreshing thing I have found about this ex-pat community is the ease at which people accept you into their groups/social circles as a friend. Will it be so easy in a non-ex-pat environment? I would love to hear how people receive you back into their lives, as this will be me some time in the not too distant future. You will still be you. But will they?

  2. Laney says:

    Will put it on my list, Rachael. I can answer that question, to some degree, for existing friends as we catch up with them each year. There are one or two that like to place us in a box of their own construction while others embrace some parts of us but dismiss the new aspects that they can’t quite deal with yet. And then there are those who enjoy seeing us grow … true friends. I’m not sure about my potential friends. I am hoping that I find myself in a community that embraces us as easily as we were at CIS. That would be a lovely gift.

  3. Judy says:

    As someone who has repatriated several times .. this time being the longest, 3 years and counting, I have to tell you that it’s not easy and it’s certainly not like moving to another country. It’s very disconcerting to not fit in to your home country anymore, and even though you do eventually settle in, living overseas does change you permanently. I would highly recommend Robin Pascoe’s book “Homeward Bound” as a good primer. She tells it like it is, with a twist of humour. Also, if you have children, you definitely should read “Third Culture Kids: Growing up Among Worlds” by David Pollock & Ruth Van Reken to understand what is going on in their lives.

    • Laney says:

      Thanks Judy. I read Homeward Bound over Easter and found it very helpful. Third Culture Kids is on my bedside table waiting for me to pick it up. 🙂

  4. Judy says:

    Ha, ha, you’re two steps ahead of me 🙂

  5. Katherine says:

    My dear friend, Kim. Reflecting on your lines of thought, I just thought I would share this. I’ve not been the world traveler that you have been, but have pressed to several different places in the US which has the same reprecussions as moving internationally in many ways. When God took us home – I say that because I wasn’t convinced that was the place we were to be – But we did move back to my hometown after circling the midwest for 16 years – It seemed scary and uncertain to go back home – But really, God took us home – He allowed us to share 9 years with my Dad and Mom – and to be readily available for them in their time of need – I’m not saying this is what God has puposed for your return trip – But as we trust Him with our lives and our decisions of life we realize – Our Life is not our own – and there will be purposes and plans that He has for you “back home” just as he has had for you in every “covey” He has placed you in the world.

    • Laney says:

      I woke up this morning and headed out on my first ever morning run. When I came back, huffing and puffing, your message was waiting for me. It was a gift whether I ran or not. Fantastic to receive after sacrificing my sleep (although can’t really claim that since the birds woke me at 4am!!).

      I agree that when you move domestically from state to state you experience many of the joys and traumas that people experience moving internationally. Many of the States have different cultures which would make moving to them seem like moving to a different country.

      We have felt that our move home is God’s will and have held on in faith even when our minds were telling us that we really should be panicking by now. And He has been faithful. We are going home with employment which is a huge weight off our minds. Plus M is eagerly looking forward to his new role as it will continue to stretch him and develop his skill set. A big answer to prayer as I was concerned he’d arrive back in Australia and be bored in six months.

      So fantastic to hear your voice, as always. Big hugs!!

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