Am I an alien?

I’m home but am I?

I’m sitting on the toilet in my parents’ house (yes I’m going there), watching a clip from facebook about how to grind up egg shells for extra calcium. For real. I’m watching someone tell me to save egg shells, bake them and then grind them up to put in pizza dough on the toilet. What has happened to me?

It seems in the short time (2 weeks) I’ve been at home, various forces, some like bad smells, have been persistently trying and some succeeding in seeping their way into my psyche. Some I’m warding off with a pretty decent fan. But others are up in my nostrils and they’re hangin about.

I wrote to a friend at Phuket airport after a minor anxiety hit walking through the makeup department. As I looked around at the lipsticked, pancaked (my mum’s term for foundation), eyeshadowed faces, at the jars and bottles and creams, I felt like I was in a pseudo universe. My stomach knotted. “Don’t make me go back!!”

I looked in the mirror trying on some mascara. I used to buy makeup duty free to save myself a few dollars but here I felt like I was just going through the motions. In that mirror in the fluorescent light I noticed the pimple on my chin, the discolouration on my cheek, the dark rings under my eyes. Yikes, have they always looked that obvious? Where is the concealer? In that moment I felt shame, shame at my face, shame at walking around subjecting the world to my ‘unbeauty’. I wiped off the mascara and concealer and walked head held high to a seat in the terminal to do some deep breathing. It seemed my tests had already begun.

A month before I left Oz I started having dreams of losing my bag. I either put it somewhere at the airport and then couldn’t find it or I left it in a taxi and it drove off. Although now at each carousel I’m kind of surprised when my bag does arrive, I saw the message of the dreams as being about simplifying and letting go of things that don’t serve me.

And that’s what I did.

So coming back … well, it was intense. It was like I’d stepped out of my UFO into another world — ‘same same yet different’ as the Thai saying goes.

I noticed the uniforms and more uniforms at the airport. Then the fully enclosed brick house that was home. My own space! The sweet delicious hug of the incredible pillowtop mattress invention. The normalness of enclosing myself in a metal capsule, safe and driving down the open road in parallel to the other humans but not connecting with them (although some try to through animated hand signals). I noticed the loud, yelling radio contraption thingy inside my capsule that makes my ear holes shrivel. Though when quickly converted to an aux machine it’s a dj to my seated dance party. I noticed the people that speed past you to quickly squeeze their capsules in front of yours. As I j-walked across the road, a cyclist called ‘helllooooo?!’ as he swooped past — nope, not a friendly g’day mate. Oops :) Yep it’s like the world is a double time youtube clip.

At the market I saw the zombies (lovely ones) hunting their next fix of sugar, flavour, joy in food, in their phone, constantly scanning the market for action. I too went on the hunt for the tasty morsels and gee were they yum. As I put sprinkles on a sweet bretzel, a customer almost pawing his hooves and snorting, yelled his order at me — yes, his Bretzel need is highly urgent! Ok, one nutella filled nut Bretzel coming up!

I noticed the 19 degrees days that handball to the 36 days and then back again. Drinking water out of the tap (one for you Dan!). Clearing a dishwasher. Hanging up washing on a clothes line. Space to cook my own food. Appliances to chop stuff up with. Tight jeans. Earning money again. Not having to carry my toiletry bag to the shower. Listening to music without earphones. Having a cup of tea in the backyard. TV. Hugs and chats with my special family and friends. Dancing around the house with no one else around. Silent alone time.

After a week of buzzing at a different frequency and feeling like I do when I step onto an escalator that isn’t running, I entered a week of hermitting. I withdrew into my cave . I read and I slept and I ate and I worked for my parents. And I worried big time — will being back undo all my hard work, my calm, my centredness? Will I go back to my old habits? Will I get trapped by the material temptations, the devices, the conventions?

I worried so much that I tuckered myself out. It was like my brain needed to vomit and at the end, empty, it could surrender and begin to trust.

I am on a journey and it will only continue. Being at home won’t feel like being away. Some things will be harder and some things will be easier. I have beautiful people around me. And I am beginning to see that my learnings are deep inside of me. Whether here or somewhere else I know I am growing. Yes I will head off again soon. But for now I know I’m exactly where I need to be.

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