A world citizen may provide value to society by using knowledge acquired across cultural contexts.
Written 04 June
Six months in. In a way, a lot has changed. Well, at least I’ve seen and done a lot. I’ve learned more about myself. I am much more extroverted now. I know I can survive.
But in a way, things are today as they were half a year ago.
Before I left the states I had a frantic time of packing and sorting, of goodbyes and last dances. It was a many month goodbye tour but it had to end at some point. And when it did, I found myself on my last night in the country, on my last night around those that I knew, staying with my mom. I spent some time stressing out over what I had. Would the clothes I had assembled be sufficient for my time in Australia? Did I have all the things I needed to survive? Was everything assembled too much to carry? How was I going to set off on my own? Did I have a plan? Or a clue?
That was a sleepless night. I was too tired to have conversation, but too stressed to sleep. I couldn’t function. Rachel and Mom both spoke comforting words to me, trying to calm me and assure me I was going to be alright. And I knew they were right, but I was still a ball of stress.
And so, on as little sleep as I’ve managed in quite some time, I loaded up my bags, gave a wan smile, and held back the sadness. Mom was sick at the time so I couldn’t even give her a proper hug goodbye. And I got on a plane, arrived in Sydney, weighed down with stuff, weighed down with unfinished business, weighed down with questions about what now and where to and how.
Today, more than six months after I landed in Sydney, I dropped Mom off at the airport.
Last night was a stressful one. It was my last night with someone from home for the foreseeable future. For the next six months, I am on my own to meet and make friends and put things together for myself. I sorted through my stuff. Tired of carrying as much as I am, I whittled down clothes and stuff and passed the excess on to Mom to take home. Would the remaining clothes be enough? Did I have everything else I needed? Could I send home anything else without depriving myself?
And where do I go from here? The trip has always had a next phase. Concerts upcoming, or an impending visit, or a booking I had to make it to. But now I’ve got no plans, no set goals, nothing is known. Do I go work in the mines the rest of my time? Do I work in Sydney for a few weeks and then head out (largely dependent on me getting a job offer)? Do I just load up and roll out to see the rest of the country in my remaining time? What am I going to do?
So here I am, in Sydney, dealing with unfinished business, trying to figure out what comes next.
After a night of mediocre sleep, we loaded up the car and headed to the airport. Over our last shared cups of coffee we did as we have for the past several weeks. We talked and we enjoyed each others company. And then it drew to a close. We walked to security, and with sadness in me I said my goodbyes again. Off to face another six months without family.
At least this time Mom wasn’t sick so I got one last hug.