50% Anticipation

Tickets are booked. I’m going home.

I’m leaving at the beginning of December and Sparky joins me a couple of weeks later. My sister will still be in school until right before Christmas. My brother and father work (obviously).

Do you know what this means? It means an open schedule. It means that I am a free woman. It means no familial obligations. It means I decide what I want to do from a purely egocentric perspective. It means lunch with my old friends; it means afternoons at the gun range, it means shopping. It means I get to have conversations with the woman I was before I left.

As most of us Expats know, trips home are often jam-packed with things you have to do, things you want to do, people you have to see and people you want to see. Most of the time, I’m so busy that I don’t get to sit back, relax and enjoy. Add Christmas and life becomes so busy that I need a vacation after our vacation.

Not this time. This time I have two weeks free in my favorite city in the world. I have free time to do all those things. I can follow my own schedule without having to cajole and harass others into following it too. I no longer have to wait on anyone. I can just Go, Gadget, Go!

I fell asleep last night dreaming of all that I’m going to do. There are categories: Personal Pampering, Shopping, Friends, Time with Dad, Time with Jeffy.

The last time I had some alone time with my GBF was last year for two hours at a coffee shop down the street from where I was staying. I want more time or at least more occasions. I miss him.

I want a day of beauty. I want a leg/bikini wax. I want a mud bath and massage. I want my hair done without conversation by someone who won’t leave me with Midwestern hair.

I want the ease of communication my brother and I have, the non-stop laughter and the sibling companionship. I maintain that no one, no parent, no spouse, no lover, no friend knows you as well as a sibling and if you’re lucky there is nothing like the friendship you can have with a sibling.

I want to go see a movie alone and leave before the credits are over because I really don’t care if there’s an Easter egg at the end.

I want that silence that comes with being alone and very, very comfortable in your own skin; the silence that you don’t have to explain and the 1,000-mile stares that aren’t interrupted.

I think this might be my last chance. I have plans for next year that will make this my last hurrah, so to speak. The last time I can ever really be that unencumbered again. And I guess I have to figure out in these two weeks if I’m okay with that.

Before I moved here, I was rather independent. Since moving here I am less so. It’s a complicated turn of events that I think some of you understand. I hope so because I have no words to explain.

I can only try to understand it. You move and marry, change your name and the price you pay comes from a place you never knew was vulnerable. A place, a space you thought was safe, so integral that you couldn’t possibly part with it. You’d gladly pay from other resources, but that’s not how it works. I guess if it didn’t hurt, it wouldn’t be worth it? After the deal is done, you hope and pray that it was worth the price. Or you think everything is copasetic and then one day you realize the illusion you thought was reality has faded and you are left with a reality you had no idea you were purchasing.

So to that effect, I have to weeks to re-charge. And boy, let me tell you, its coming just in time.


14 thoughts on “50% Anticipation

  1. Watch out, SF, here comes Jen! I know what you mean about family obligations when you go home. Sometimes you just want time alone in your old city and it can be hard to get.

  2. Christmas season in the city by the Bay. Sounds wonderful. I wish I could do the same.

    And you’re right. Some of us out there do understand.

  3. We’ve been in france now 3 months. I think I’m starting to understand some of it. Our first trip home is in January. I’m already thinking about it.
    I’m longing for the smell of a Barnes and Noble. All those books. . in english.

    I hope your “JenTime” whispers the answers you seek.

  4. J: I’m sure the time will just fly by and the driving does piss me off, but I can’t wait to call someone a cow on highway 24.

    Megan: What are you doing for christmas? Is Oliver coming back?

    Dorion: Yes, bookstores filled with everything you could want. and the smell and the feel and man, i can’t wait. Sparky and i end up sending home boxes of movies, music and books to keep us fed for a few months.

    me too.

  5. There’s absolutely no place on earth like the Bay Area and I will always miss it, no matter how much I like Seattle. I forgot where you grew up; did you mention it? I grew up in Berkeley in the 60’s! What an experience!

    And I know what you mean about the ease of conversation with a close sibling! I have one brother like that, one who is a bit strained, and one who drives me positively BONKERS!!

    Have a fabulous time!


  6. Wait!! Highway 24?! Isn’t that TUNNEL ROAD?! I grew up on Tunnel Road! Right across the street from the Claremont Hotel, kinda near the Caldecott Tunnel!

  7. Awesome. And I TOTALLY understand. Every. single. word. From start to finish.

    You’ll be OK with it. I know that.

  8. Really liked the picture that accompanied the blog. Very atmospheric, evocative. Captured the “cooped up, looking out at what else is out there” feeling.


    p.s. Gave the email thingy a shot – again. Perhaps I’m being filtered?

  9. While going back to the homefront sounds great, being left behind in the foreign land isn’t so bad. Thanks to work, Oliver will manage a visit or two and I’ll make over there once at least, so we’re not separated for the entire time. Luckily he is making it home for Christmas, he’d find his stuff on the doorstep if he didn’t. 🙂

    You recharge those batteries now, ya hear?

  10. I hope you have a fabulous trip home. I can’t wait to get back to my hometown next year. Everyone needs to get back to the mothership once in a while.

  11. Carol: Yep, HWY 24 runs right past tunnel road and thru said tunnel. The bay area is really just heaven. Even when I lived there I thought so.

    Hamish: I’m still thinking about that, when independence is by choice. I’ve never thought about it like that, in so many words, but that is really the crux of it, isn’t it?

    Nuala: ME TOO! we could have days of coffee and conversation.

    Christina: Thanks. I know you do.

    Ace: Thanks. It was actually taken while I was writing that entry. e-mail functioning, the e-mail writer is however, not as quick.

    Megan: I’m glad Oliver is coming back. I had read it would be a ouple of month before you saw him and i was worried you’d be all alone in Munich in the snow with a skype christmas tree. Good to know you’ll be warm and snuggly.

    Dixie: It really is like the mothership, isn’t it?

  12. Fan-tas-tic! Can I come??

    Why don’t they have day of beauty places here? I don’t get it. Movies alone. Wow. That sounds great. Take pictures!

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