It’s unbelievable, to say the least. I have no idea what to expect, the first sight of Changi, the orange glow of streetlights through my airplane window (I hope I get a window seat!) – going home for the first time in almost ten months. And yet – right now I feel like I don’t need to, anymore. I want to, so much, but that pressing wistfulness for home is more muted than a few months ago. Today, getting off a comically horrible flight from Guizhou to Beijing (more on that in a bit!), I was struck by how I don’t quite have a bed to call my own, anymore, that when I return home, I would not be returning to my own bed but rather occupying a new one, and I wasn’t quite sure what to feel about that, that absence of a tether, as symbolic as it may be.
This year has revealed part of me to be unexpectedly more, well, for the lack of a better word, domestic, than I or anyone would ever have imagined, and as premature or rash or reckless as it is for me to declare this, I will say that for the first, explicit time in my life I have glimpsed the emotional impetus behind marriage, kids, the whole nine yards (yes, stunning.) On the other hand, I am still so, so very young – another fact this year has impressed upon me. What I thought I wanted turned out to be quite different from what I actually did, as it became evident. The contradictions are jarring, but when are they ever not?