Don’t Tell the World…

… I’m coming home.

Yes, after blocking out my many uncertainties and working hard towards a goal of gaining employment while maintaining my stay here for the past few months… by the end of this week, I’ll be home. Last week (rather short notice), I’ve booked a flight home (return ticket, hope is not all lost… just yet) towards the sunny island that is home for the time being.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post back in June, I was planning to get a job in the UK post-graduation. I can’t say I didn’t try having applied to about 100 jobs, but I also can’t help feeling I’ve not done enough as I have mixed emotions about going home… one of them being returning a failure. If you’ve been reading enough of my “Me Finding I” entries, you probably figured out that I overthink. So, I’m not kidding when I say I have mixed emotions. Indeed, MANY.

Aside from feeling like a kid who lost her lunch money to bullies (which never happened to me FYI) then running home crying to mummy and daddy, I have fears…

I fear being perceived as a failure.

I fear the unknown, unclear on my next move.

I fear the reverse culture shock.

I fear rejection.

HOLD UP. WHY REJECTION you ask? People who study abroad usually return home with more life experiences, making them more worldly, confident and independent. In my 4 years here, sure, I am independent and all… but my self-esteem has dropped to a negative value as I was stripped aspects of me I stood behind with pride before. I am now someone who assume what people will think of me before I utter a word to them. Someone who assumes the worse. Someone who is afraid of being judged negatively. Someone who avoids interaction to avoid rejection. All making me someone who is a lot more socially awkward. My anxiety intensifies at the thought of being liked less by old friends because I am less of who I was.

Someone who avoids interaction to avoid rejection.

Oh, as if that anxiety ain’t enough to give me a panic attack! Let’s take a step back to the reverse culture shock. Four years in the UK, yet it has not quite felt like home to me. Perhaps it’s because I relocated almost every year and never got to properly nest, but I will say, I rather like my lifestyle here (which would be terrific with more semblance of a solid social life). Going home? I am not prepared to face friends and family with their questions about my future (and love life for those nosy ones). I am not prepared to fit my chubbier figure into shorts and tanks for the heat. I am not prepared to be the annoying customer who asks to have this and that removed from a dish. YES THAT. Why? Not because I’ve become a food snob… I am now vegan. 6 months AND counting. I have been reading on blogs on such from vegans in Malaysia, but from the girl who could barely order a bowl of noodles from hawkers until I was in college… I am apprehensive on having to ask a bunch of questions on top of my order and dealing with meals out with family/family friend (especially because in Chinese culture, we usually order dishes to share). Isn’t it funny how I’m more anxious about eating out with family than with friends/new people as a vegan? *incoming wave of fear of judgement and rejection*

“Though I am not yet gone, I’m still not here.”

These mixed feelings, on top of my recent superstition about not jinxing things… deterred me from publicizing my homecoming. Although I am a little thrilled on going home, being with my family and new possibilities (hopefully time for me to explore them and figure things out)… the possibility of fading from the minds of the few good friends I’ve made here and not quite fitting in back home terrifies me.

Now, where do I belong?

Has anyone of you readers experience something similar? Not feeling like you can be yourself at home anymore having changed? Comment and share your thoughts below!

Don’t tell on me,
Sum.

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