Sunday, Jul. 30, 2023 - 10:34 am.
My trip to my home country came and went. I flew back in yesterday morning after a 22-hour journey. Now I'm back with Andrew and the cats, also my home.
It's always so weird to make such a long trip. Once I'm here or I'm there, that's the focus of my existence and the rest feels like a dream, or like I travelled in time or to another world.
I'm so happy and thankful that I made this trip. I saw assorted members of my family everyday, usually around food. I always appreciate that my sister, her son (Nephew #2), and Brother and Sister-in-law #3 make time for me with their busy schedules. My parents have limited mobility but there was always a chance for us to go out for a meal or coffee.
I also got to see Brother #1 who was in town for a conference. We met for dinner and breakfast. That was a bonus!
I caught up with Nephew #2, who growing up was like a little brother. He's in his mid-20s now. He's got a part-time job as a high school teacher, it will be full-time once he gets his degree later this year. He came out to Andrew and me years ago (now the three people in that sentence are bi), when he visited us in the UK. His now ex girlfriend, G (also bi!), went abroad this week for her master's and they were mature enough to call it off. Both were fully aware that they wanted different things in life and out of relationships (indeed in plural for my nephew). They broke up on amicable terms and they remain friends, even family, specially over G's dog until she can bring him with her. I'm proud of Nephew #2.
I got to see the three friends I always call when I'm there. Four friends this time, actually, as another friend from high school moved back to our home country with her husband and kids. I worked a bit. I went shopping for souvernirs once and did not go sightseeing. Hence, I have no touristy photos of the kind that make people say "amazing, I want to go there", even though the country is absolute hell if you live there.
In these trips, I only cry when I'm boarding the plane first, and when it takes off second. For a lot of reasons. Survivor's guilt. Nostalgia. A deep sense of loss. Love and gratitude and best wishes for my parents and my siblings and my nephew and friends there. Fury and anguish over all that's happening on a political and societal level, all that massive bullshit properly covered by shiny propaganda; plus the ecosystem absolutely annihilated.
I kept my distance from the latter topics. Anything I'd say about this would be redundant for those who notice and endure it everyday (my siblings), and would be considered ill will and ignorance for those who think everything's better now (my parents).
But anyway. I enjoyed the trip. I'm happy and grateful it happened. I was able to travel to my home country because of the whole UK visa debacle that kept me from attending a conference, so truly, I made the most out of that mess.
Oh, oh, and the airline gave me an upgrade again!
I was boarding the plane for the longest leg of my trip (a six-hour flight) and the machine checking my boarding pass indicated that my seat had been changed. It was originally 5D, then I saw my new seat was "4B" and I thought "NO WAY". It couldn't be. I wanted to get excited but I said maybe Business Class has only three rows; these Business seats were beds after all.
But no. I was bumped to one of those seats. It was massive. Lots of room to sleep comfortably, a travelling kit, meals to be eaten with silver cutlery. I set myself up there as streams of tired travellers entered the plane to squeeze themselves into their regular seats. I could feel my face's expression as unamused, but inside I just wanted to cry. I honestly had a knot in my throat out of sheer gratitude! I just couldn't believe it!
So this time my round trip to my home country was in Business class! I could afford this for the local flight, and then I made an effort for the second shortest flight. But the third flight is always the roughest, longest and most expensive. And here the airline bumped me both times. It was much, much appreciated.
Now I'm here. Thinking of my family and friends back home and wishing all goes well for them in every possible way.
As for myself, I gotta pick up my life here. Andrew and I spent our day yesterday catching up, eating, fucking, watching TV series we had on hold this week. Now I have to go tidy up some things, prepare to get back to work tomorrow. We have paperwork to do for the apartment we're buying, and for the adoption process. It is exciting, yes!
But there is another thing I'd like to pick up, too. My creativity, my inner world? How do I call this? Some conversations surrouding the Barbie movie (went to see it with my friend Virginia back home, that was a great day) made me miss having a richer inner life.
Like in this diary. I used to talk more about what was happening inside of me and not just of mere events. I could effortlessly write short stories, storylines for my Simeon comics... where is all that now?
I have to make an effort to get that muscle into shape again, I suppose. It's hard, though. Usually I don't go deeper in this diary anymore because of time (and thruthfully, because I'm a bit more mindful that all this is public). I'm always thinking I have to do other things. And I do! A lot of times I do, and this is gonna be even more demanding when we have our kid.
I understand grownup life sucks up much of your mental and physical energy, and your attention. I have to be more purposeful. I have to take out again my notebooks and my word processors, just go back to writing, just exploring my thoughts a bit everyday.