|In the General Assembly hall at the UN. SO. EXCITING.|
|A Nancy Reagan gift at the UN|
It also gave me the opportunity to catch up with some lovely Fulbrighty types too. The end of our American adventures is rapidly approaching, and apart from causing us all to get incredibly stressed about work, trying to get everything done before we leave, it has also prompted us all to ponder 'going home' and what this even means. Safe to say we're already plotting an 'American Re-migrants Support Group'; because I find myself incredibly sad that my time abroad is coming to a rapid end.
I thought this year would cure me once and for all of my enthusiasm for the almost annual moving around that has come to characterise my 20s; one final fling of my rucksack around the world and then I'd be content to settle myself a little in one place. In reality, and to my surprise, it has had quite the opposite effect. Discussing this with other friends who have temporarily emigrated, we all have this strange sinking feeling of 'safety' with returning home, almost like we're not totally sure where we belong anymore. I know I am incredibly lucky to be returning to a country where I can continue to work in my fields of interest, a luxury not bestowed upon all of my immigrant buddies. Not just that - I have an amazing job to go home to! Much as I enjoy research, I have come to really, really miss being a clinical doctor and I am really looking forward to combining research with medical practice again. Research on its own, whilst awesome (when it works), is only half of my professional soul, and I miss the other half!
|Finally submitting DNA for deep seq!|
The first thing to go right for a while.
We were excited.
And yet - I really enjoy living overseas, and in the advent of Skype and FaceTime, missing home really doesn't bother me as much as I thought it might. Of course I am missing all kinds of stuff - my sister's 30th birthday, my niece's first steps, the occasional wedding, a hug from Mother P. But as my bestie from med school reassured me - when it comes to close friends and family, they will always be there, regardless of where I am. I realise talking to a face on a screen isn't the same, but I feel like I am almost more in touch with key people - I just make more effort. At the same time, I love the mentality that has been integrated in my brain as an immigrant - an even greater enthusiasm for exploring this damn beautiful world, a greater degree of self reliance (and resilience), talking to strangers and making friends. In the latter, I have been more than richly rewarded in the great people I am lucky to call friends on this side of the pond: friends who have helped me through all of life's ups and downs, and even more wonderfully, are willing to rely on me as a friend in return. Living abroad has raised more questions about life than any of my immigrant chums and I ever expected - all of which I'm still processing and digesting. But it feels very healthy to allow all this thinking to happen.
|A chunk of the most quoted text in the world|
|Homemade mango pickle|
nom nom nom...
I just wish someone had told me that remigrating home is looking likely to be way harder than leaving it in the first place. Yes, I know. #firstworldproblems. Don't worry, I do count my blessings every day.