I thought I didn't like coming home to Australia before, but now I know, I really hate it.
In my world, I live in London, and nothing has really changed too much. I have a really, really good bunch of friends, I have a nice place to live, and a decent job. And, most of the time I can't even really tell what year we're in, as one year just melds into the next. And that's not because I don't do things, it's just that when you're living your life, you don't notice the little changes, so it seems nothing does change.
However, whenever I come back to Sydney, it always hits me that this is really not the case. Things change all the time and in big ways, and when you only come home once a year, these things really hit hard. In my head, I've not really changed that much, but when I come home, everyone here has. It's like I've been cryogenically frozen, and every time I come home I'm being thawed out to see how the entire world has moved on, with me not in it.
I've just come back from my cousins first child's baptism. The last time I saw my cousin I was a bridesmaid at his wedding. Today I held their baby girl in my arms. All my cousins seem to have had babies or are getting married. The fact we're all getting older really hit me today, when my 6ft "baby" cousin, who in my head is still only 8, but in reality is 23, introduced me to his girlfriend, then showed me the big rock on her finger because they are now engaged. ENGAGED. At first I couldn't believe it (I was desperately trying to work out if that was her left hand or not), and because I didn't jump up and down, I think they they think I don't approve. And I think his fiance thinks I'm standoffish. Which isn't the case. In actual fact, when I'm around people I don't know, I'm incredibly shy. I don't know what to say, I get tongue tied, and my fear of saying really stupid things is completely valid, because I always say really stupid things. Unfortunately, I have a feeling this comes across as snobbery or something.
So I sat there today, as my "baby" cousin canoodled with his girl. I've seen him do this with other girls, but never with the sort of sincerity that comes with doing it to someone you've asked to spend the rest of your life with. And this has really hit me hard. He no longer is my baby cousin. He's someone else's baby now. Of course, me being 5 years older and soon to be the only unmarried cousin left (and I have alot of cousins) I also had the overwealming joy of having all my aunts, relatives, and relatives of relatives come up and say "so you're not married yet eh? Well don't put it off too much longer, you don't want to end up alone, and you should think about having a baby. Look your cousin's baby. Don't you want one for yourself?" (well no, because everytime I go to hold her she screams her head off).
The worst thing is that everyone seems to have moved on just fine without me here. And if I never came back, it wouldn't matter. I'm slowly starting to feel like a stranger in my own country, and with my own friends and family. I've heard the cliche that going back home is hard, but I guess it's a cliche for a reason. It is fucking hard, and I fucking hate it.