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Monday, May 22, 2017

Where are you from?

Though the kids had showed tremendous interest in another guest blog, that interest waned when it actually came time to put words down. So you're stuck with me (Julie) again. I've been thinking a lot about what to write next. I have several blogs already drafted, but this one is tugging at my heart.

Once we open our mouths, it's quite obvious we're not Aussies. Instead of assuming we're Americans, people ask where we're from. We say the States, then they ask where. That's where things get tricky.


Courtesy HowToInstructions.org
We've come to realize this is an incredibly challenging question for us to answer. We usually respond with "We most recently lived in Arkansas [blank stare]. Our "forever home" is in Washington, DC [name recognition!]. Most of our family is in Michigan [maybe?]." 

Someone once dug a bit deeper, and that stuck with me. They asked "well if you were going back to the States for holiday, where would you go?" Michigan. Yep, Michigan. Of course we'd want to hop all around the country to see friends and family, but Michigan would be home base. Funny since we haven't lived in Michigan as "adults." 

Cool shirt from Spreadshirt.com

I've been thinking about Michigan a lot lately. A lot. Simply put: we've hit the homesick stage.

I'm learning there are many stages of a move like this. I'm summing them up as follows:

  • Honeymoon where everything is magical
  • Homesickness where you ache for the familiarity of your previous country
  • Coping where you begin to integrate into your community
  • Living where you've fully integrated

I think we're wandering between homesickness and coping simultaneously -- very normal and healthy. The homesickness isn't getting us down or stopping us from doing anything. We're not moping around the house or laying in bed. We just miss "home." 

We've made wonderful friends, are enjoying Sydney, are experiencing a lot of great things together; but that doesn't change our ache for "home."

The kids have a long winter break in a few weeks (eek!) and I've been eyeing flights to bring them to Michigan. I've come very close to booking them. Then I remember that I can't fathom driving on the right-hand side of the road just yet; its a ridiculously long flight; a ridiculously long flight to be outnumbered by children; a crazy time change; and defeats much of the purpose of this experience. 

But how do you convey - without whining or suggesting you want pity or need help - your feelings of homesickness? The ache for family, friends, familiar foods. We don't want to pack up and move back, so that's good! But when I floated the idea of a trip to Michigan, the boys were very, very excited. You probably want this blog to end with me telling you we booked the trip. We haven't.

Aaron's grandfather encouraged us to keep journals of our experience here in Australia. While that sounds like a lovely idea, physically writing down our thoughts these days just doesn't seem practical. I guess that's how the blog was born. It has been an incredible outlet for us (mostly me / Julie) to try to put our experiences into words. Thank you for being my journal.

Sunday evening in Breakfast Point with friends from the cruise. Loved the crunch of leaves under our feet!


4 comments:

  1. We do miss you, which I think feels strange because you didn't live in Michigan. It's just a funny feeling to know how far away you really are. I love this blog it lets me know you're hear in heart!

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    1. Love and miss you, Auntie Lori!

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  2. I really like this vulnerable post, Julie. It's touching and brings up a lot of questions about the question of home. Keep up the good work and writing. I can relate as well. I felt homesick a year or so ago, even though nothing had changed. I wrote about it here: Missing You

    https://afterdefeat.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/missing-you/

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    1. Love your post, Nina! Thank you for sharing it. So many common feelings.

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