The term "home" has been relative to me lately. Though I've spent the last two weeks at home, in Missouri, in the house that I actually pay a mortgage for, I've found myself referring to "going home" as in to Switzerland.
It's been strange. I almost feel like I'm back in college. You go away from home, spend your time living and working somewhere else temporarily with a bunch of people you see all the time. Then you come home every so often to get your haircut, catch up with friends, see Mom & Dad, do laundry, eat greasy hamburgers and Taco Bell, and ship off again in a week or so. Since I've been back it the US for 2 weeks, it's almost been like Spring Break. (ok, except for actually having to get up and work every day....)
This has been a good trip back. And it's gone fast. But then it has not been long enough. I landed on a Friday night and it was freezing. Spent time with Mom & Dad, crashed, then got up early to go with MA, Mom & MA's future MIL to go look at wedding dresses. It was fun and I actually stayed awake....with some caffeinated help! I am genuinely happy for MA and I'm thrilled to be able to be a part of this event. (Not that I shouldn't be, but there was a time in the not-so-distant past where this would upset me - see previous posts from 05-06...) Now I'm getting ready to pack up and it's sunny and 65 here - welcome to MO!
I have been able to catch up with lots of old friends and neighbors that I feel like I neglect when I'm gone. (I promise I'm not - call, e-mail, chat, etc....I miss you all!) I also found out some things about some people that I thought were friends, but not so much. It's been hard and a tough process, but looking forward to moving on. Time and space will help through that.
I met some new friends that I hope will continue to be friends through trips and distances. (Hey J - Had a blast and loved the "beer tour". Next up - baseball games!) I saw new baby lambs and caught up with some friends that I hadn't seen in a while. I got to celebrate St Pat's in a traditional Irish way with good friends, good music and great beer! I caught up with church friends and even able to "torture" (but in a good way) my swimming kids who I also miss. I even got to do some project work in the field I love....boy do I miss that a lot!
I've been learning a lot about myself while I've been over there. I'm not sure if I'm looking at stuff from a new perspective, or I'm maturing as I'm there or if it's just hitting me all of a sudden. I find myself being quieter and thinking more before I speak. And listening more - not just hearing, but listening...and not thinking too far ahead of the conversation. Plus I've been working on being OK by myself. When I first got over there, I was paranoid of being left out or forgotten or getting lost, etc. As I've been there, I guess my confidence has increased or I'm getting used to my surroundings, or something, but I'm getting to be Ok with spending time alone - in fact there are some days that I really crave it. (Though I do call back to the US many nights to talk to poeple here though!) I'm starting to not let the little things bother me and just focus on the important stuff.
And the job has been really cool, as I've been learning so much about our industry and how the company works. We have such a great team of people over there, that it's amazing to be around some of the smartest, top engineers in the field and they are ready to impart their knowledge on you AND make sure you understand it - how cool is that? (yeah, I'm a geek - no surprise...it's in the title)
Now I have mixed feelings about going back to my Swiss home. I'm looking forward to going back and experiencing spring there as I have a feeling that it's going to be a blast eating outside, spending time on the river and seeing all the great sites. And I'm looking forward to learning more about me and getting to be really comfortable with me, which is a challenge I'm really trying to focus on as of late.
Yet there is a part of me that's ready to be at my MO home. I want to plant flowers and golf and hang out on the deck and visit my girlies in Chicago and watch the NCAA BB tourney and hang out with friends for lunch. But I know that time will come - soon. Five weeks will go quick and I'll be home - maybe for good, or at least awhile. And I have stuff planned for the time I'm home, so I'm excited. And the weather should be better by then. (And hopefully no tornados by then!)
So until then. Home will be where I am - with good thoughts going out to all the people/places/pups that are not with me. They will be missed, but never too far away!