Feeling: HOMELY BUT ALSO NOT
I don’t want to go home.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m supersonically looking forward to seeing my fam. My friends. My doggies. Starting my new job. Meeting baby Blake. But I wish I was having a fly-by pop-in for a week or two, then heading off on another adventure.
Leaving Nepal actually felt painful. I genuinely had pangs when I woke up (frigging 5am, my body clock is switched on to trekking time). The beauty of the place, the people; I’m not ready to go. I want to explore it more.
Last night we went out for a farewell dinner. Josh, Tegan, Sarah, Daniel, Ram and I. “Chuck” turned up midway through; it came to our knowledge that Ram had rung him at his hotel and invited him along too. It made me love the cheeky Nepalese soul even more so, and Chuck had us all in hysterics as he told us tales of disaster dates he’s been on. He may have added a sometimes unpleasant dynamic to the group, but all happens as it’s meant to. And it taught me some tolerance!
Josh had pieced together a really rad video of our trekking adventure which we watched as we waited for our mains. He really captured the essence of the experience with highlights, lowlights and fantastic footage. He’s sending me the necessary linkage so I can chuck it up here, so will do at earliest op.
After dinner Ram went on his way (assuring me he would be back at 10am to posit me in my car to the airport) and we busted up to the bar we graced on our first night altogether. The fine Finnish girls we met on the mountains joined us which was really lovely (Chuck attempted – and dismally failed – to get his ins). The drinks flowed and we all got a bit tipsy and merry, laughing and offloading and just enjoying life.
I looked around at the Everest Expendables and felt a surge of sadness. I’m really going to miss them. Tegan, with her incredible perception and straight talking. Daniel, with his standoffish nature that his deep down kindness slowly starting penetrating. Sarah, my Godsent “big sis” who I have really grown to absolutely adore. And Josh. Wonderfully witty, heartily hilarious Josh.
I don’t know if my partiality to him stemmed from a true attraction or a mechanism to act as motivation on the mountain. All I know is that it was there the entire time, lingering and lurking in the background as I tried to vizard it to be unpickedupupon. Did I manage to mask it? I think so. If he had an inkling at all he never let on.
I know for a fact he’d never be into me. Aside from the physical particulars (he doesn’t like skinny girls – blatantly said so and told me a fair few times I was far too thin, etc – doesn’t like tattoos on girls – I self consciously covered mine up by crossing my arms when this information was disclosed), I could tell in his eyes I was just this roller coaster-like kid. I could make him laugh and we had some in depth conversations, but I could see friendship was the full force it would ever go.
And I’m perfectly ok with that. Learning acceptance, ya see?
We were both pretty mellow from the multiple wines, shots and cocktails being downed, and Josh decided he wanted to rock a kebab. So me and him strolled off down the Nepalese night lanes to the twenty-four-hour burrito bar.
Him and I had spent the afternoon ambling around and yarning about certain topics, of which Ed came up. I actually opened up a little to him about it, and he said some really straight, sound thoughts and advice. No judgement, no jostling. Just matter of fact musing.
When his kebab was ready he unwrapped the foil and held it out to me. “Have a bite,” he exhorted.
I met his eyes, “no” on the tip of my tongue. But I swallowed my refusal. I put his burrito in my mouth and had a noteworthy nibble (alas, this is not innuendo).
The guilt I was expecting on wake up this morning still hasn’t come.
It got me thinking; this happiness, this all encompassing joy I’m experiencing – is it true? Is it because of the trip and because I’ve actually changed? Or is it because I have lost weight and I’m euphoric to be coming home with baggy shorts on?
This niggled my noggin all morning. What if I got home, for some reason or other regained, and went back to the horrid headspace I was in before?
I analysed and agonised for hours (no lie; as I said earlier, I was up at fucking 5am). But then I realised.
I have changed. I’ve confronted some horrible home truths. I’ve actively gone against them. I’ve been away just short of two months; these new ways are the new norms, the learnt to be instinctive dispositions.
UltraPop is coming home. And she’s going to stay. Obviously I’ll have ups and downs (and sidewayses and diagonals and topsy turvys), but I’m not going back to the Anneke Poppy Rose Whatman Wortman of old.
It’s time for the APRWW of the future to settle in to stay. Tolerance? Tick. Acceptance? Tick. Am I growing up?