But then one day my sister said something along the lines of: "We're moving. When are you going to take your stuff?" Actually, I'm not sure if that is exactly how it went down. It's just how I remembered it to be--abrupt and blunt. I was immediately pained by this, but it really had very little of an effect on me until I lived with my family for two weeks while I was in California.
For the first week, I slept in my mother's room as she was still in China on a business trip. It was comfortable enough, but the master bathroom is also in her room so I had to wait for my sister to finish getting ready for bed before I could sleep. That wasn't a huge deal except when my mother returned from her trip I would have to get ready for bed early so that I wouldn't disturb her in her sleep. Mornings were also tricky as I was battling jet lag and woke up earlier than she did, despite how much I wanted to sleep in.
I slept the last week on my grandmother's extremely hard bed with a completely creepy baby Elmo fleece blanket (pictured above). I think I would have been better off on the couch, although that would have just meant giving my sister even more opportunities to post embarrassing pictures of me on Facebook. My sister likes to mess with me when I fall asleep on the couch. One time it was by throwing pieces of paper into my hair and another time she actually painted some of my fingernails without me even knowing.
I was incredibly frustrated whenever I couldn't find an electrical plug where I needed one. I ran into furniture and turned door knobs the wrong way and would curse every single time. I also needed to use my GPS to get around the area because I have an awful sense of direction and everything confused me. I shouldn't have to ask where the extra toilet paper or napkins are. The day I left I decided to cook some noodles for lunch before I had to head to the airport. I even went to the Asian market to buy them and was really excited to taste something I hadn't had for over a year. However, I encountered an unexpected setback. I couldn't find any cooking oil for the pan despite all my efforts to look through all the cabinets in the foreign kitchen. Out of sheer stubbornness and frustration, I turned off the stove, shoved the packet of noodles back in the fridge, and sat in a state of hunger.
When I told a friend about my anger over these trivial things, he thought I was overreacting until I explained what "home" really means to me.
The sweet phrase "home is wherever I'm with you" has never resonated so much until now. While I truly loved spending time with my family and friends, eating amazing food, and enjoying the gorgeous weather, I was more than ready to return home--the home that I have created with my loving husband.
P.S. A very happy birthday to Chris, possibly my most loyal reader. Hope this post was "wordy" enough for you.