It’s been finalized. I am returning to the U.S. and very soon, Tuesday to be exact. Six months of wandering around Southeast Asia have come to an end and a rather abrupt one at that. These last few weeks have been really hard on me and not just because of the ordeal I went through in Trat, sickness and surgery. The thought that it’s not just six months of travel that are coming to an end but over six years of life is rebounding around the inside of my skull.
The weather and scenery in Kanchanburi, Thailand where I’m writing this is fantastic (after 3 solid weeks of rain) making the decision I made even harder to deal with. It seems only at the point of when things are over do I realize all I could have done. The bittersweet feeling of having learned a valuable lesson at a high cost is still fresh in my mouth. I look back at the decisions I made over the last fifth of my life and while I do not regret them or how things turned out there is still a feeling of, ‘I could have done better.’
That knowledge that I’ve learned a life altering lesson comforts me as I think about the future, about what I will do once I return to the U.S., and how I will work to achieve my goals. What can be is so exciting to me right now. Looking forward to the opportunities that are available in my home country compared to where I have been set my blood afire. I have seen much and experienced much in the last six years and you can’t even begin to imagine how lucky people who live and work in the U.S. are. Some may feel that my optimism is unsupported by reality but those people most likely have never lived abroad.
A chapter in my life is about to end. The last pages are being written as I speak. I used to think that Japan was what was ending but in reality I think the scope of what has finished is much greater. What exactly I probably won’t be able to define for a couple of years to come.
Coming to terms with what is happening is taking some time, as it should. I did not expect this event to occur so soon or so rapidly but hesitating right now could be extremely detrimental to my future. Stay a little bit longer in Asia and my small financial base disappears. Sure I could go to Taiwan and teach English for good cash but that is not where I want to be.
Make a decision and run with it. That’s what I did when I began to plan this trip over a year ago. Leaving Asia had already been decided but it wasn’t until just recently that the bullet hit home and I was forced to acknowledge what was happening.
I am at a cusp, a moment in life where I am consciously aware of changes that are about to occur and can actively affect what is about to happen. Contemplating the past and considering the future is key.
Right now it hurts like hell and my heart feels heavy but I know that in order to move forward I must first move backward, back to the U.S. Asia will still be here a few years from now. When I return the taste of victory will be that much sweeter.
Looking back I feel the pain of loss soon to come, looking forward I feel the excitement and anticipation of things yet to come. It is an interesting dichotomy of feeling and the two are constantly battling.
In the end how will I come to terms with all that’s happened? Most likely the same way most other people on this earth do, by moving forward.