Well.. as some of you might know I am heading back to America for Spring Festival to see my kids, new grandson, other family members and friends. Everyone in China is asking me if I am excited.  When I sit down and think about this question I am surprised to be slightly confused about the answer.   Yes. ..I miss my kids, terribly and I want to see them and make sure they are okay and see my grandson for the first time.   Yes, there are some family members I miss .. and many friends I want to see again. I miss some of my favorite resturants and dance clubs… But… and here is where the confusion comes... There are things I really don’t miss.  I don’t miss the feeling I get when I am back home.  Let me explain.

In China, everything is kind of new and interesting. Everyday there is something you probably never seen before… there are things that bug you and irritate you but… as a whole most people that you actually associate with are very kind and really care about you, in their crazy odd kind of way, but they mean well for the most part.   And if they don’t like something about you.. you will never know because they will not tell you.  However, in America there are always those people that have something to say to you sarcastically…. or someone to shoot down your accomplishments.  Those people that just cannot see you succeed in something.   Unfortunately, I encounter many people in the states that are like that and will try to say something to bring you down. This kind of crabs in a barrel behavior is not missed at all.

I will also miss my husband.   He is not able to join me this trip due to financial reasons (tickets ain’t cheap when you are on Chinese money) and visa limitations  (it is very slow). So, I will be 19 days without my hubby… but back in time for Valentine’s Day.This will be the first time we have been apart for this long, it will be trying for both of us.

The number one thing I fear the most is…. that I will feel like I don’t fit anymore.   Many expats have told me that when they go back home after living in China or any other country for a good while you start to  have reverse culture shock.   Things annoy you that didn’t before, and some things just don’t feel the same or don’t feel right.    They tell me it will be like your are a person without a country.   You don’t really fit in China.. but you don’t feel like you fit at home either.   This is my greatest fear and why I am nervous about returning home, even for this short time.

I also have some “friends” that in the years I have been away have not taken the time to email me, snail mail me, or even chat me up on facebook, But have come out of the woodwork to tell me they missed me and want to see me.  Makes you realize a lot of things and about your “friends”. Yes, my homecoming is kind of a bittersweet feeling….I can only imagine what it will feel like going back to the small town I grew up in and seeing everyone again.  I know I have changed alot and I think for the better.. but have they?

until next time…