News from Back Home

Being so far from home is a bit of a double-edged sword: I am not sucked into the drama (and my family has a lot of drama; we’re a large and stubborn lot) but at the same time, when something happens, I am too far away to actually be of any use. It both keeps me free of the craziness but also makes me feel guilty that I am not shouldering my fair share of any burdens or sharing in any of the joy.

Case in point: my little brother called a little while ago and told me that he and his girlfriend are expecting! I didn’t even know what to say. I love his girlfriend, she’s great, but a) they fight a lot and b) I can’t tell if he’s excited about it. If we were face to face, I could probably have figured it out but just hearing his voice on the other end of the phone made it difficult to figure out. And because of the time difference, I was in a restaurant eating dinner, so I couldn’t even hear his voice all that well. It seemed awkward and a little rude to my dinner companions to ask my brother to switch to FaceTime, so I just said that it was wonderful news and that I thought they would make great parents. He kind of snickered at that—bad sign, I know—and then changed the subject. I followed his lead, and soon we were talking about Dad’s latest girlfriend.

I love what I am doing here and the language immersion has done amazing things for my vocabulary and accent.However, it is times like this that I wished that I owned my own jet or something.Then I could go home as often as I felt like, because I know none of them are going to fly here. It’s weird: I am not what I would call homesick. I don’t even miss speaking English all that much—I guess I get my quota of that teaching class—and I can’t say that I miss living in the United States at this point (although that could be sour grapes because I couldn’t find a job therendsince I had no money, needed to move back in with my folks before I got the job here). I am sure if I saw my brother on a regular basis, we’d fight like we typically do, and I certainly don’t miss that. Sometimes I am actually glad there’s an ocean between me and my entire family, which might be a terrible thing to admit. Good thing I haven’t told them about this blog, I guess, haha! I guess the thing that I miss is the idea of my family, the fictional scenario where we all get along and everything is super.

Well, writing this post has certainly helped put things in perspective and given me an idea. I am going to video call him later and see if I can gauge his reaction. At the very least, I will ask for the due date and offer to fly home, and see what he says from there. Wish me luck!