It’s my last week at home. There seems to be an unspoken understanding that I will continue to function normally. Well, as normal as I would have any other week. Which puts the entire comic expectation into question.

Normal for me would be spending long extended hours at the office, it would mean having the privilege of so many spectacular corporate encounters, an abundance of conversations, continuous challenges and an overly optimistic approach to getting a successful outcome every single day.

Normal would also mean watching my Viking leave for work day after day not knowing which part of Australia his demanding job would take him to each day. Normal would bring him home to me every Friday, exhausted, excited and happy to be home, only to take him again on Saturdays and Sundays.

Normal would lead me to my parents’ dinner table every Wednesday evening for an enriching soul-healing mix of brother, sister, partners, tradition, family, roots, belonging, happiness, good food and all.

Normal is not having much free time for myself, and spending a lot of time on my own all at the same time.

This week’s normal will be all of that. With the addition of a realization that this will be the last week of this kind of normal. It’s the realization that I have chosen to try a new normal. A normal I am not familiar with. A normal I cannot picture, imagine or plan. A normal that is away from all that is normal to me. A normal in a new time zone, in a new country on the complete other side of the planet.

This realization, however exciting, brings all kinds of other truths with it. It brings sudden unpredictable outbursts of rain. It brings a tightness in the chest. It unseals old wounds and makes them bleed again. It makes the oxygen scarce and breathing much more difficult. It brings a world of goodbyes to mind:

To my parents; every ounce of good in me, I got from you.

To my sister; my greatest happiness lies in knowing we are breathing the same air on the same planet. We will always share the same blue sky. I leave knowing you are loved and cherished. That is my private little piece of heaven. It will always get me through.

To my brother; I will have to get used to living in a dimmed world. The sun will never be as bright as your presence makes it. The stars will never sparkle the way they do in your eyes. I know our paths are intertwined and one way or another, we will walk hand in hand again.

To my husband; our marriage is anything but ordinary and that’s why you allow me the privilege of exploring extraordinary avenues. You have always been the only man capable of healing all my scattered pieces and guiding them back home to me. This will not be our last goodbye. We will meet again, here, there or anywhere.

To my wonderful team; my wings are strengthened by your every word, every recommendation, every strategy, every challenge and all the support and love you armed me with. Thank you for making me better.

And to you kid; I’ll see you around.