So it's 7am on Tuesday July 3rd and I am wide awake. This probably because I was wide awake from 8am July 1st until 7pm July 2nd before I finally crashed and burned and slept for 12 hours last night. I'm back here now in good ol' Albany, NY. It's definitely a weird feeling. It's like I left yesterday except that yesterday there was 18" of snow and today its 75degrees and sunny.
It's seems all I've been doing since I've been home is eat. It's not even that I'm all that hungry, it's just that I see something that I haven't eaten in 18 weeks and I have to have it. On the drive back from the airport, we stopped at a rest stop on the Pike and even though I had two meals on the first flight and a big burrito in San Francisco's airport I had a bagel with cream cheese and a coffee at Dunkin Donuts. Then we stopped at the deli to get laundry detergent and I had two dill pickles, a bag of Cape Cod Robust Russett Potatoe Chips, and a Diet Stewarts Root Beer. I didn't sleep very well the first night. Ended up staying up until 5:30ish then napping for about 2 hours. I got up and had a Brueggers Bagel with olive pimento cream cheese. Then I went over to my Grandparents and had a bowl of cheerios. Then down to the deli for lunch and I had a nice tossed salad, another dill pickle, another bag of Cape Cod chips, an italian mix sub. You get the idea. I guess you don't even realize you miss so much until you are reminded of it.
It's still chaotic here to the point that it really hasn't hit me yet what exactly I left behind in Australia. I've been so busy with everything here running around already that I haven't really thought about it until now that I can't just walk down the hall and wake up my best friends and be like 'he you want to play some clue'. Sure I could walk next door and wake up my 5 year old cousin and play some memory or something, but it just won't be the same. What was in Australia will forever stay in Australia.
What did I learn in Australia?
I guess the biggest thing that I learned is that you create your situation. Regardless of the surrounding circumstances and the people around you, you are the most influential in making or breaking a situation. I guess mind over matter is true in a ways. Did I love the city of Sydney? Not really. I liked it a lot, but what I did love was the people I was with and the trips we took and the stupid fights we got into that made it all somehow worth it. I was talking to one of my aunts about our infamous 'nuclear saturday' when some of us let our emotions get the better of us and she summed it up perfectly. She said you were at a point that you felt like family and that you could say what you needed to say and you knew that it would be okay. That was the truth for me. I knew that regardless of the outcome of that night everything would be okay. And it was, sometimes I think it was better than okay and that we were stronger because of that night.
I learned that friends are people who know everything about you and like you anyways. Every single one of us has our flaws, but we also have amazing qualities that true friends will value more than our flaws. The most comforting thing about coming home to the states was knowing that I left Australia with some amazingly close friends. When you are forced into a situation where you are half way around the world from your closest friends and family you reach out for people. When I reached out I grabbed some keepers and I'm grateful for that.
I learned that it is more important to be yourself than to be who other people want you to be. There are enough people out there who will appreciate you for who you are, you don't need to be friends with everyone. You especially don't have to pretend to be someone you are not to make other people like you.
I learned that jetlag sucks.