Thursday, October 7, 2010

Back 'Home'

So. I'm 'home.' I landed yesterday in Boston and am now at my parents in Western Massachusetts.

The last weeks have been tough. Full of anxiety, preparations, packing, worrying about things, turning off gas/electricity/Internet/water, canceling things, worrying about things, goodbye dinners and parties, lots  of sad goodbyes and lots of worrying about things.

It was difficult to say goodbye to friends and colleagues in London and Sweden. And throughout all the sad goodbyes. I did not cry. Some of my friends cried. Some of my colleagues even got a bit teary eyed. But I did not cry.

I did not even cry when I found out that the cost of shipping my stuff home would cost $1,000 more than what I budgeted (that's right it apparently costs a whopping $5,000 to 43 boxes of "six years of stuff" from London to the US).

I did not even cry when I found out I was loosing part of my security deposit on the crazy expensive London apartment for stupid reasons like a stain on a bedspread that I had professionally cleaned and then never used!

I did not even cry at the airport in Stockholm where I started to get this panicked feeling when I realized that after this plane ride, I had no more trips scheduled. I can't remember the last time that I had no trips (and no plane rides) scheduled. For the past 9 years, my crazy travel schedule has ruled my life. And I hated it. But I also loved it. At least life was never ever boring.

I did not even cry on the plane when I watched a movie with a scene filmed on King's Road right down from where my London apartment used to be and I at first felt that jolt of excitement and then extreme sadness when I realized that I no longer live there anymore.

I did not even cry when I got all the emails and texts from my colleagues who are in Dubai (where I would have been if I had not decided to switch jobs and countries) and having a blast celebrating a good end to our sales year.

I did not even cry when I arrived 'home' and felt this deep sense of loss and sorrow as I realized that perhaps my whole life is behind me and all the good things, the fun things, the things that make me me, the glamour of an international life, the nightclubs, the boys, the ridiculous drinks, the amazing international friends, the partying in different cities, the amazing friends around the world, that those things are now in my past and the future is a big lackluster unknown.

I did not even cry when today - on my first day home in the US - I got that familiar feeling of already wanting to get back on a plane and return to my 'home' abroad as that is where I feel that I belong... and then realizing that there is no more 'home' abroad. That I am here and here is now 'home' whether I belong here or not.

I didn't cry because I'm afraid if I started to cry, then the floodgates would be open I would never be able to stop crying. Because right now it seems there is more to be sad about than happy about. More to be worried about than to be content about. More to be anxious about than to look forward to.

Ahead of me is a mountain of 'stuff to do' like: find a car to buy, figure out how to finance the car, find an apartment, find a place to stay until I can start the lease on the apartment, read some books for work, fill out the customs forms to bring all my stuff into the country, pay the movers, figure out storage for all my stuff because it seems to be arriving before I will have an apartment, try to contact old friends, try to make new friends, figure out Internet dating in the US, find a man, start my new job.

But those are just tasks. They are practicals to take care of. They are not plans. They are not fun. They are the details of life but not the substance. 

I feel like I'm at the bottom of the mountain of  'stuff to do to get settled in' and I'm not sure what I will find when I get to the top of that mountain. And I'm so afraid that I'm going to look around, take in the view of 'my new stationary life' I'm not going to like what I see. That I'm not going to know who I am anymore when I'm stuck in the city of Boston and no longer a jet-set International Woman of Mystery.

There are so many unknowns right now and the control freak in me is completely freaking out.

Picture courtesy of

But this morning while driving with my father I saw a rainbow and this evening while running, I saw another one. I take this as a good sign. An omen. Two omens actually.

So, despite wanting to just cry, I am holding out a rainbow fueled hope (however small it may feel) that all the fun in my life is not in my past. That there somewhere in the future, good things are going to happen to me.


Sara Louise said...

Chin Up Intl Woman! You know that this is only the beginning of your next big adventure and soon you'll be off whooping it up in your new life :-)
(and OMG... my Dad lives in Western Mass, I got married in Western Mass!!)

International Woman of Mystery said...

WHAT??? That is crazy! Where did you get married? That's so funny - what a coincidence! Do you ever visit?

Anonymous said...

It's always scary to leave the "known" and enter the "unknown", but as a woman of "international mystery" I have every faith that you will make things work here. If you can make it in countries where you don't speak the language, you can make it back "home".

I can't wait to hear where this next step in your life takes you. GOod luck, chin up, just keep swimming, and all that other happy horse shit. In the end it's okay to cry, it's okay to be scared, as long as you keep moving forward.

Average Girl said...

Oh sweetie.... living in the states doesn't mean you are no longer an International Woman of Mystery, it just adds to the mystique. You sound like an awesome chick, and wherever you are, whomever you are with, whatever you do, you will make it your own and we will all be waiting with baited breath on what your next adventure is, even if its just in Boston! Besides, I live in a redneck town in Canada where first cousins marry each other for gawd sakes, and I still have things to write about... LOL

Cheer up darlin... good things await!


Julianna said...

Ease back in slowly... perhaps with a Pumpkin Spice donut and hazelnut coffee from Dunkin's.

Welcome Home.

International Woman of Mystery said...

Thanks everyone for the support. @Julianna - I'm totally all over the Dunkin Donuts scene here!

Jonas said...

I don't think you should cry at all. You've had a blast and now it's just a new chapter. You'll soon find the man of your dreams and if he's American you can visit and we can visit, and if he's not well it's just another place to visit :)

Catherine said...

I'm sending good thoughts your way. I know this must be a challenging time for you... I know you are going to make it through amazing though!

UpStateMommy said...

Good luck! I'm sure this is a hard transition! Andy's parents lived in the UAE for over 10 years and we visited Dubai- would have been an interesting place to live and work...

UpStateMommy said...

Good luck! I'm sure this is a hard transition! Andy's parents lived in the UAE for over 10 years and we visited Dubai- would have been an interesting place to live and work...