Lately she had been telling herself excuses every day. Something like – “You’ll have more energy tomorrow” often with “it’s just because you had a bit too much to drink last night. Don’t worry about it.”
But when the days turned into weeks, that turned into months, that turned into almost a year – maybe it wasn’t just the two or so glasses of wine.
The city was always bustling. Where she had grown up had been so different. Here, everyone was in a hurry. Elbowing past you to escape up the escalator from the train station first. Huffing when the barista took more than three minutes to have their flat white perfectly frothed. She’d never been sure where everyone was going, but they were always going their quickly.
It had been a welcome change initially. To go from living in basically the bush at her parent’s place, to being somewhere where there was always something going on. She’d felt her loneliness dissipate. There was always someone to talk to. People also looked at you less, there was less judgment. You could walk down the street with bright pink hair and no one would really look twice. That was not what it was like in her home town.
The job had also been going stupidly well. She enjoyed the work, she loved her colleagues, she was given positive feedback – many doors were opening.
But yet, she found the same feeling returning that she had thought the city had taken away from her. The feeling of being alone. The feeling of being lost, with no one there to give her a pat on the back and tell her it would all be okay.
It was Easter time. Last minute, she booked flights home. Four days, three nights. Just enough time to meet her sister’s new dog, give the nephews a kiss on the forehead and chew the fat briefly with Mum and Dad over numerous cups of tea on the verandah.
The break had been refreshing. She felt like herself, unedited. Raw and real. There was no bustling, no cars honking, no smog and humidity stifling her breathing and impacting her thoughts. Pure freedom.
On her return to the city – returning to her life away from her family, back to the job that she loved and the new friends she had surrounding her – it hit her. It hit her like a lightbulb moment in a children’s cartoon. She needed to go home. Her time away from her family and childhood friends had been enough. She’d experienced more than she had set out to, and now she knew where she truly belonged. The feelings she’d been having were pulling her in that direction,s he could see that now. She now knew what was she wanted. Home.