I am sitting in Los Angeles, back on American soil, and I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it’s been four months already, that Sydney isn’t really where I get to spend the rest of my life. I can’t believe I’m home.
The last four months seem like a dream- like I must clearly have been imagining them, because there were that incredible. There were no failed expectations, no major disasters- not once in the course of those four months did I ever truly wish to be anywhere else. And I think about where I was 4 months ago, what I felt like sitting in LAX for 12 hours waiting to fly out, and I realize how much different of a person I am. How much better of a person I am. And for that, there are some big thank yous in order.
Thank you for Tim-Tams. Honestly. And wedges with sour cream and sweet chili. Not to mention Good News Week every Monday night, early morning surfing, those incredibly bright stars, and the crazy noise all the crosswalk signals make. And for the Christmas banners with parrots on them, that painfully catchy Guy Sebastian song, and those birds that make a noise eerily similar to a baby being tortured. For taking my breath away that day on the boat, and that night on the beach, and that time we all tried to stay up until Ellen left at 3:30, but in fact ended up falling asleep with three of us squeezed in one little twin size bed. And, really, for every other little moment that brought a smile to my face, because I guarantee there were a lot of them.
Thank you for teaching me how to breathe, and how to appreciate the little things. There may be a million things in life that are more urgent, more important, more stressful than stopping to smell the roses, but there is nothing as important as being happy. And here, I learned how to be happy. I have found so many things in the last 4 months that make me think I might actually have this life thing right, and I still haven’t wrapped my head around it, but I know that I like this person I have become. Because I look in the mirror now and think only of how lucky I am. How incredible my life is.
To Erin, Jake, Andy, Simone, Jodie, Susan, and the rest of the incredible NI team: thank you for keeping me smiling and laughing for six weeks. Everybody has to start somewhere, and I’m lucky in that I got to start with such a friendly and hilarious group of people. In six weeks, despite the photocopying and grocery runs, I realized exactly what made me excited about television, and I’m a better person for it. People don’t often get those moments where they realize that they know exactly what they want to do for the rest of their life, and I have. And it’s made me want so much more.
And, of course, to Ellen, Andrew, Alan, Hailee, Michelle, Monica, Maggie, and the rest of my Sydney family: thank you for being my home away from home. I could have been living in a cardboard box on the corner of Broadway, but as long as we were together, it all would have been okay. You guys truly bring out the best (and, admittedly, the wildest) in me. It’s always a little surprising how close you can become with people in such a short time, and it prides me to say that I have found some of my best friends in the world in you guys.
When I made my way through Border Control this morning, the security agent stamped my passport and told me “Welcome home.” I am home. It smells like cold, like Christmas, and I’m sipping on a Pumpkin Spice Latte and smiling, because in a few hours, I’ll be running into the arms of my family in Boston.
I am home, and my heart is full. But there will always be a piece of my heart in Sydney. If home is where the heart is, it can’t hurt to have more than one, right?
And I’ll be back for it. Don’t you worry about that.