Saturday, September 24, 2011


After a week-long internal debate and several signs -- one of which arrived in the form of a Belgian expatriate named Peter who randomly struck up a conversation with me yesterday as I was enjoying a fishburger in a shopping center near my hotel and ended up spending the afternoon giving me a tour of the life he'd made for himself during his 12 years in Bangkok -- I've decided to stick around Thailand and Southeast Asia at least until the end of the year. It still doesn't feel like home (neither did Melbourne after four months), but I've begun to feel comfortable here, and I've planted the seeds of potentially long and rewarding friendships.

I'll likely be back in Melbourne at the dawn of 2012 -- at the very least to pick up the belongings I left behind (thanks to Marcus and Jayden for hanging on to them), to say goodbye to the few good friends I made there, to finally get to experience summer in the city. And I can't let that business-class return ticket go to waste! How long will I stick around? That part remains to be seen. Maybe a week. Maybe a month. Maybe a year. Maybe forever.

I still love Australia, but things didn't quite work out between us this time. Australia -- Melbourne, in particular -- is like that guy I loved, who loved me back, but not enough to really commit to me. And for now, I'm tired of trying to get him to put a ring on it -- or at least produce the perfect full-time job in lieu of a proposal.

Maybe it was just bad timing. Or a sign that I'm still not ready for the sort of commitment that a full-time job demands. Those people in charge of hiring editors might not know talent when they see it, or they may have been doing me a favor. Perhaps Melbourne and I will find our way back to each other next year, and our love will be strong enough to keep me there, commitment, full-time job, or not.

It all depends on what happens over the next few months in Asia. I'm looking for neither signs nor epiphanies nor full-time work (though I'd happily accept all of the above). I'm just going to live without a game plan for a few more months. That's never been my nature, being a wandering spirit, living sort of aimlessly, but then nothing in my life has quite turned out as I expected it to. I may have no ultimate destination, but I have faith that I'll end up exactly where I need to be.

In the meantime, hopefully, Asia will continue to inspire me, give me more to write about than Australia ever did. Peter suggested that living in a country where you don't speak the language and can't communicate freely forces to you go deeper inside of yourself and as a result, you end up pulling more out. That might explain my writer's block in Australia, the U.S. and the UK. Here's to at least three more months of miscommunication, digging deep and unbridled creativity!

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