The importance of putting yourself in others’ shoes.

This is a post mainly to clear up or explain behaviour, mainly of mine I suppose, but it would be relatable to anyone in this position/similar circumstance.

So in November, 2013, I moved from the UK to Australia.
My Mum, Stepdad, Cousins, Aunt, Boyfriends, Friends all were in the UK, and my Dad, Sister (and her newborn) and my Brother (Along with their own little families) were all over here.

I always loved Australia. But my sister fell pregnant and that was the decider for me – the big push. It’s a really big struggle growing up without half of your family. For most of my life I’ve been on the other side of the world to my other half of my family.

Don’t get me wrong, nothing was wrong with the UK, or my situation there, it just wasn’t going to grow me as a person. I knew I had a lot more opportunities over here.

It was an easy decision to make, but it wasn’t an easy thing to do.
I have recurring dreams of saying goodbye to my Mum, Stepdad and Boyfriend at the time, at the airport. I remember their faces, what they were wearing, every detail and I wake up feeling sick.

I also remember seeing my nephew for the first time.
The baby grow he was wearing, his weight at the time, I remember what I had for dinner the first dinner I had with my sister. I remember what we watched on TV, what time we went to bed and what time she woke me up.

Love is a funny old thing. I’ve craved a strong relationship with my family here for the majority of my life.
I also have so much love for the UK.

Being in Australia hasn’t been a smooth road, nor is any journey.
I had so many problems with immigration and 7 painful months of not knowing where I was going to be within the next month.
Finally my permanent residency was granted and I got to go back to the UK for a couple of weeks.
It was an incredible two weeks, I appreciated people and the places so much more. I really loved my time there, and truth be told, I didn’t want to come back and it was a huge struggle to push myself to get on the plane.

I miss my folks desperately. I miss my best friends, my friends, my acquaintances and the shitty little parks in Southampton. My heart absolutely aches for it, and some days, no lie, I am so homesick I spend the best part of my day running to the loo to vomit, it physically nauseates me how much I miss home.

I’ve gotten to see my Nephew grow up, I’ve finally got/am getting the relationships I want.
I’m in uni, doing a good degree at a great university.
I have a job in a law firm which is going to open a hundred and one bright and bold doors for me.
I’m 20. I’ve moved across the world twice. I work in a place that people with masters degrees couldn’t even get unless they were lucky.
Who else can say that?

I’ve found a best friend here, a couple actually.

I see myself here, I plan my future here. I wish I could bring my friends and family here, then life would be perfect, but that’s never going to happen.

I thought recently I might have to go back to the UK because something was feeling wrong. I didn’t think this was going to work out, but I’ve found a way around that problem now and I’m staying.

I’m the kind of person who likes a plan b. I can’t sleep without a plan b, sometimes even C.
When these issues arose, my plan B was the UK. I’d called uni’s there and made appropriate enquiries. I’d looked at dates I’d fly on.
I like to be organised, planned, in case I’m left up shit creek without a paddle. I like knowing I have something to go to.

Unfortunately this ruffled some feathers.
It ruffled some here when I thought about going back, because the people here didn’t want me to leave.
It ruffled some at home when I decided to stay here.

So I’d like to elaborate.

To my loved ones in Australia:
Just because I’m homesick, doesn’t mean I want to go home.
Just because I have a bad day, doesn’t mean I want to go home.
Just because I talk to my friends and family there every day, doesn’t mean I want to go home. Doesn’t mean I love anyone more than you guys, doesn’t mean anyone’s superior to my heart.

Part of me does want to go home, of course. It would be easy. I’d go back to working in a bar with my best friends, getting black out drunk every friday, having nearly no responsibilities, no real purpose.
I’d live with my parents, have my dinner cooked and my groceries bought and a cuddle every time I got upset. I’d not worry about finances, I’d have all my friends around me when times got tough.

And to my loved ones in the UK:
Just because I’m happy here doesn’t mean don’t miss home. Just because I have new friends here, doesn’t mean I don’t DESPERATELY want the ones at home!
Just because I have a good day doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about you!
I am constantly thinking of you, how much some of you would like it here. Of how much I’d like you to be here, a direct few who I’ve pestered non stop to come out.. ahem.

But that’s just it, I want to share my new home with you all. I want you to see and understand why I stick it out.
It isn’t easy.

I’m aware of my decisions. Always have been.
I made a decision to move here, I’m going to follow it through.
This is my future home. England will always, always have a strong grip on my heart and when times get tough there’s nothing I want more than to run home to my mum, have a cup of tea, fall asleep on the couch and then go to work until midnight and go off to popworld or unit after.

I’m in the middle of becoming established over here in the field of work I want to build myself professionally in.
I’m in the middle of being the best Aunt, sister, sister in law, daughter, step daughter, step sister, best friend, employee, student I can possibly be!

So I suppose what I want to explain to both sides of the world here, is that this isn’t easy for me. I know it isn’t for you, either.

But when I get sad, it doesn’t mean I want to leave, or come back.
I’m a human, I’m going to get homesick. I’m going to wish I was snuggled up with a familiar face at home with all my friends within 2 hours of me.

When I get sad, it doesn’t mean I want to throw in the towel here and go home.
I started to pretend I wasn’t homesick because every time I mentioned I was I could see physical PANIC on everyone’s face that I was going to run to Qantas and cry until they put me on a plane.

Unless you’ve been in the position of deciding between two countries, two sets of families and two sets of friends, you will never, ever understand the heartache of doing something like this.

I just want to reassure people that I haven’t forgotten about them. I always think about my friends and family there!

And I don’t want my family and friends here to think I don’t appreciate everything they’ve done because they’ve done more than I could ask for.

I’m human, I’m happy here but I’m going to be unhappy sometimes.

If I could have it my way I’d live here, with all of my UK friends and family.
But you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
I have to get on with my life and start making something of myself.
Don’t hate me for having good days, don’t resent me for having bad.

I love you.


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