Staying

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“We all travel,” he says. “It’s just a matter of how far.”

“And how long…” I reply.

He didn’t get the job in Singapore. For the first time in a long while he was excited about the future and what it had to offer. Now he is a little disappointed. He wanted the family adventure.

But it looks like our small family will be staying here for a while. I’ll no longer have to pack up my bags, stuff my memories away into cardboard boxes and leave them behind. I am relieved that we don’t have to leave the home I’ve known the longest and the best.

Leaving is easy. Staying and building something is more difficult. It takes patience to endure the daily boredom and a bucket load of forgiveness to overcome the petty hurts.  You learn to take pleasure in the small things, the vital things. The friends you’ve made and the relationships you’ve built. You start to love that blue sky and the sunlight on your back.

“The sky will be blue there too,” he’ll say.

But he doesn’t know. He’s never left a country to build a home somewhere else. Once the new is gone, the adjustments and longing for the place and people you’ve left sticks with you for a while.

My family left Singapore more than thirty years ago. It’s my early childhood home and the country where my brother was born. On many hot sticky days we would head to the pool. We’d play and swim for hours.

We came to Australia and I thought we had settled. I thought we were starting the long process of putting down roots, of planting our future deeply into this country. After weeks of uncertainty, it looks like this process will continue.

That is, until he applies for and finally gets that job in another country.

 

 

 

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