Firstly, I would like to tell you that I turned up to lunch on the correct day this week and it was lovely. Secondly the curse of my chaotic mind continues, as I still managed to misread another message and was caught FaceTiming a friend, whilst doing my hair and make-up in preparation for said lunch. I don’t know what is wrong with me!? I’m blaming the fact that this isn’t my normal routine, I’m outside of what has now become my everyday and whilst its still home (or one of them) and I’m comfortable, it is no longer my life. It’s caught me off kilter and I cant even blame the Baileys this year! So maybe my head is in the Christmas clouds, maybe it’s because I now live without a schedule, maybe all the Christmas scented candles have fogged my judgment or maybe I’m just getting further away from island life and the adjustment doesn’t come as easy?
This is the first trip back where I have pined for both lives. I love being back in Jersey and all the wonders that that brings, I was so eager to get back and miss it terribly when I’m not here. However this time I’m also missing the desert, which I guess proves that Hubby and I are well and truly settled and engrained in that life now. It’s always one of those worries, when we turn up at a new destination, we hope that it will work out but this expat life comes with the risk that it may not. So the fact that I am thinking about both of my lives equally, over the last few weeks, is confirmation that we made the right decision.
I guess the difference between this trip home and the summer expat exodus, is that I walked away and left all my desert girls behind. Now I’m not going to get too gushy here, so don’t worry, but when you are used to seeing people everyday it’s weird to suddenly not have them around. Just like leaving my island life behind over 6 years ago, the same feelings surface,
I just didn’t think that the expat in me would get so attached to people, in this random little corner of the Gulf.
My life in Prague was so different and I came away from that bohemian life with one friend, now they are a life long friend and I could not have got through it without her, but there was no large social circles or emotional support like the desert and that is a total surprise.
Whilst I’ve been here thinking about my other life , whilst juggling my island life (and failing by my horrendous diary planning) my other life has been thinking about me. For the first time, this trip has included constant communications. Everyday I have had at least one message from the desert, checking in on my Christmas overload and asking after Little P. As they are all on countdown to their own Christmas festivities back in their home countries, we continue to tease each other, they send pics of their brunches sans moi and I send questionable photos of sausages! Cruel but funny on both counts. We are missing the people that “get it” and the banter and the predictable photos of wine will fill my Facebook feed, on their return home. The fact that I came to Jersey with presents for my little neice, from people that had never met my sister, was overwhelming not just for me but for her.
This just showed me that we are part of each others lives and that an expat friend isn’t just for Christmas.
The other real issue is that Hubby is back in the desert alone, which makes me sad. He will be the first to say it doesn’t feel like home without me and would never want to do this life without me and I feel the same. I know there are plenty of families, where the wife and kids stay behind, not to disrupt education and remove the upheaval, but that wouldn’t be for me. I know that I have left one flip flop in the desert on this trip because he is there and it never feels good being apart but also because it is yet further evidence that my sand pit life is untlimately where I feel most settled.
I’ve said it before that this adjustment back and forth is a hard element of expat life and whilst I love both parts of me, Island Girl is a massive part but I just didn’t anticipate that Desert Girl would battle my emotions. Like two superheroes battling it out (I always did want to be She Ra or WonderWoman!) their alter ego versus their caped crusader. It’s the other part of me; its my other life. But maybe it’s more me than I realised.