Tomorrow I go back to school. My American tax return is finally filed. My American bank account is closed. My American phone contract has expired. I have packed up my remnant things (which essentially amount to a significantly-culled selection of clothes... photos... books... my violin... and my trusted collection of international fabrics) and am back where it all began to start again, again. My stethoscope, now entering its 10th year of life, is in desperate need of replacement (perfectly functional, you understand, but a girl can dream of a Cardiology Littman upgrade...) but shall, as it always has, see me right as I re-enter the clinical world on Black Wednesday.
This junior doctor has been re-acclimatising to this drizzly, chilly but occasionally sun-kissed, sparkling land. I feel a little like a tourist in my own country, but this period of 'tourism' and catch-ups with very special friends and family, as well as all-important solo reflections, have helped focus the mind for the next part of my little life journey. I return to a beautiful city with a refreshed outlook on what's important and renewed resolve to listen to myself a little more. Eek. I am more than a little daunted about another fresh start - strangely way more scared than when I moved to the States! I have enjoyed celebrating the joys of the lives of wonderful friends and family before and since my time in the USA; now it's time for me to get on with my own.
A most wonderful friend soon to start her own overseas adventure reminded me recently amidst a small anxious moment re 'returning home' - nothing, including stress, is permanent; it is just a state of mind and a reaction to a situation, and this will pass. And with that; I will keep some important words in my mind - Gold Guide, and Out Of Programme Experience.... Perhaps this is why people shouldn't take gap years - once you pop, it's hard to stop!