By now I’m sure you all know the big news; I’m staying in Indonesia for another semester.
Our school year doesn’t start until January and I was going home to work as a relief teacher until then, so I’ve delayed my plans.
This means I won’t be back in Australia for good until Christmas. I have already booked flights home, so I’ll be coming back to Melbourne as planned, but only for 7 weeks before flying back for the start of the new school year here.
This has been such an exercise in mental and emotional acrobatics!
I spent so long trying to prepare for the transition back to Australia, and now that it’s not happening yet, I feel sort of weird. I was doing the intellectual work of trying to detach from here and reattach in Australia, but I was having a really difficult time emotionally disconnecting. Perhaps God protected me from that because he knew what was going to happen.
There are so many things I love about living here. I mean just look at these photos! I adore my students, I love my friends, and there are so many beautiful places here; leaving was always going to be extremely difficult.
On the other hand I was really excited about going back to Australia and reconnecting with family and friends on a more permanent basis. I’m deeply sad that I have to put that off for another six months, but this feels like the right decision.
I feel a peace in my heart about it, and God immediately removed all practical obstacles to me staying. Barriers fell down quicker than I could think of them, which confirms for me that this is the right choice.
Just because it’s right, doesn’t make it easy.
I was looking forward to going to a supermarket and being able to get everything I want in one place, to not having to sort through produce for the non-mouldy vegetables, to consistent electricity, to having road rules, to having roads without deep and unsafe potholes, to not sweating ALL the time, to convinience, to having good access to medical care, to a wonderful variety of food, to not having a language barrier, to not having a cultural barrier, to reliable internet, to not living under a flight path, to not always being safe (especially as a woman, and a white one that stands out), to drinking wine, to all sorts of things.
I have truly been blessed to live here for the last 3 1/2 years, and I wouldn’t swap it for the world, but it gets draining. There isn’t one thing that makes living here hard (usually), but when every little thing is just that bit more difficult, it all adds up to be rather exhausting.
I’m ready for a break.
It will also break my heart to leave here, so… life is confusing.
Here are some photos of my beloved students.
One of the very worst things about living here is the constant goodbyes due to the transient nature of the expat community. I truly despise making deep, valuable friendships, then having them end on a semi-regular basis. It’s worth the pain because of the valuable relationships I get to form, but it’s also agonising to say goodbye to people I love and share such strong experiences with. May is a horrible time where our seniors graduate and leave, anyone going to furlough leaves (usually for 6 – 12 months), and some people leave for good. One of my best friends here left for good this morning, and I cried. I’m deeply sad, but I also know that’s how life works here. God will bring us back together one day (Sam is from Sydney), but for now, goodbyes are painful.
At the moment my head is a bit of a mess; my heart is both happy and sad, and it is what it is.
Life is complicated.
Life is good, but it’s not always simple.
My heart is always in two places these days, and I will always be missing a set of people who are very important to me. There is joy in the pain though, because it means that life has been valuable and meaningful, but there is also pain.