A few weeks prior to my return from the States, I stumbled upon an article about how the hardest part of travelling is coming back home and I couldn’t agree more. When you are away from home, there are so many changes going on, even if it’s with the people whom you’ve lived with your entire life. In that short period of four months, I’ve changed, my family has changed, so many things have changed. When you’re done travelling and you’ve got to come back home, suddenly, you’ve to live with how things were 4 months ago, as if nothing has changed. And truth is, it’s not easy.
As much as I value the autonomy and freedom that I had in the States, back home here in Singapore, I’m living in my home as a daughter, as a sister, and I simply can’t do the same things like I did just a while ago. Even when the responsibilities that we take on do not change (for example, I’ve to keep the dishes, mop the floor etc.), the way things are being run have changed. What used to be home-cooked dinners at 7pm has become store-bought dishes at 7.30/8pm – which affects the timing that I keep the dishes. Not that it’s that big of a deal.
Well it’s not like these things are impossible to live with, I guess I just need time to settle back into reality and tell myself that I’m truly home and I’m not going anywhere else anytime soon.
While I was scrubbing the sides of my New Balance kicks white (back to how they originally were when I first bought them), I felt like I was cleaning away the 4 months I had spent in Buffalo. But as I looked at some of the stains that were impossible to clean off and how they looked even more distinct against the white, I realised that my experience abroad was indeed real.
Coming back is difficult for me because as much as I missed my home, my loved ones and my friends, being away for so long was like an escape from all the nagging I’ve to deal with back here. It certainly isn’t easy, having that part in my life again, but like I’ve said before, if I can put up with the shit of others that are not my kin, all the more I can and should put up with the nagging of my family. After all, these are the people whom I’ll have for life.