Changi’s eerily quiet at 4am, my fellow transit passengers are variously sleeping in contortionist positions or surfing mindlessly at the stand up kiosks for free internet while I sit here trying to figure out what I’m feeling. I always find the welter of my emotions difficult to decipher. It might have something to do with the trails that my life has led so far, the unending goodbyes to family and friends whom I consider family that prompted me since I was eight to start putting up walls around myself. Now I find myself not at a cross-road, but at the start of a whole new journey. And I cannot figure out what I’m feeling.
Will I miss California? Undoubtedly. For all the crap, the rat race, the heat there were moments of unspeakable beauty, loving family, comfort with friends and spine tingling excitement. The bygone weekend was a microcosm of what I gained from my six year sojourn in the US, Tori Amos at the Greek, alcoholic nights, skydiving and friends and family around.
The boys and I have seen some amazing groups in the last couple of years and to top it off, SR and I went to see Tori Amos on Friday. Admittedly I may not be her biggest fan unlike my obsessive interest in groups like Death Cab for Cutie or Snow Patrol, but boy can that girl sing and play various keyboards. High on Tori Amos we then proceeded to meet up with P and S and enjoy my dubious Mojito mixing skills. As was proved last July, the summer heat and the refreshment of a sparkling Mojito makes a bad combination, as we dragged ourselves out of bed with mighty headaches at the ungodly hour of 5.30am to make the drive to Lake Elsinore, so D and I could throw ourselves out of a plane.
The thrill of the skydive wiped all the alcohol residues from my system quick time. This being my second jump meant I wasn’t hamming it up for the camera and was bucket loads more confident. Instead I watched in open mouthed wonderment as the Pacific glistened from 12,000 feet up, the slipstream tearing at my goggles as we hit terminal velocity. Pulling on the parachute straps as instructed by Lelloo, my tandem instructor, we spiraled into a 360 degree turn, the parachute disconcertedly at right angles to us. I felt a twinge of regret as we dropped quickly and come in for a rapid landing at the drop zone. I would have loved to have taken the para course and jumped solo while I was in the US though with the constraints of time and money, this was always a bit of an impossibility (especially considering my other hugely expensive hobbies).
The sibling’s engagement party in the evening brought together some of the most important people in my life. Being able to give a toast at the party and say ‘I love you’ to my sister was when the final wall between us, built up during the decade apart and then warily explored when we met as adults was finally torn down. I will miss her most of all though the maternal unit comes in a close second. The last six years will probably be the last time the both of us will spend significant amounts of time in the same country much less with each other. I should be bitter that geography and family considerations have led to us leading such separate lives, but then what would be the point? I am grateful for what I’ve had so far.
All in all as S put it was one of the best nights ever, friends and family coalesced into one wonderful night of merriment with the Old Reserve flowing and the chocolate biscuit pudding being inhaled down. I am going to miss California, CP & RD up north, my boys (& one token girl) to blur the weekends away, the sibling and the maternal unit all made California worthwhile, made the rat race bearable and I am grateful beyond words. I’ll even miss the work team, as crazy as it was they were for the most part an excellent bunch of peeps.
As D would put it, One Love to the past six years and the memories. And I look forward to a new beginning and new aspirations to achieve.
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