I'm talking about homesickness. I'm talking about getting on the plane back to London with a startling heaviness weighing down on you; I'm talkig about fighting back tears as you write about the heaviness; I'm talking about this odd, unexpected sense of discomfort and wishing you were elsewhere when you wake up in a foreign city - a foreign city which, just two weeks ago, you were sure that you'd adopted as your own.
What is it about familiarity and comfort and the ease and simple luxuries that come along with them that brings out one's sentimental side? What is this strange effect produced by seeing familiar faces from the different stages of one's life, and being reminded of a forgotten fact - that one matters, still, to these people - that threatens to change everything? And this unfathomable familial bond - the two people that love you unconditionally are the same two people that drive you crazy are the same two people that you love unconditionally.
I saw my grandmother on the hospital bed - frail, panting audibly, cranky. Before this I saw her at her home and I was immediately struck by how visibly thinner she was. I had not seen her in a little over a year. Then the hospitalisation. The painful breathing, the helplessness, my first real sense of her age, her frailty, her diminished life.
At immigration control in Heathrow, I nearly got detained because I was trying to enter the UK without a return ticket and without employment. After the grilling by the immigration officer, she said she'd talk to her higher-up about my case and I sat down next to a mainlander who asked me if I was being detained. Perhaps it was at this point that it struck me that, no, I really didn't belong here.
I miss Singapore with a desperate sadness. But it is not Singapore that I miss; it is home. But then, home is not Singapore, not really. It is the people that live there. It is my family, my friends - these irreplaceable relationships that make a country with which I'm always quick to find fault tolerable, liveable, missable...loveable. I would be happier here if I could see my parents on a daily basis, if I could have a coffee with Mag whenver I want to. But it is what it is.
I don't know what's going to happen. All I know is that, at this point, I think I just want to be happy, once and for all.