It's been a year of ups and downs, a year of changes and a year filled with risk taking, ambitious opportunities. It is rare for me to find time to write, except for this isolated occasion where I am sitting and waiting for my delayed flight from Singapore to Philadelphia by way of San Francisco.
Sometime closer to the end of this year, mostly due to my constant overtime at work and a new after-work-hours venture in a start-up, my health took a serious tumble. Exhaustion and hyperventilation, they said, even though it felt so much more like a heart attack.
The boyfriend came to my rescue as I laid half-naked and helpless in my bathroom's bathtub, filled with cold water (it was the only thing I could do to distract myself from the intense pain I was feeling in my chest and all along the left side of my body). He called the ambulance that took me away to a nearby hospital. They gave me pills and eventually I came down. The uncontrollable shaking subsided and my heart beat returned to normal.
Surely, I thought, I had just experienced a heart attack. But they diagnosed me with hyperventilation and exhaustion instead. They said that I must have been under a lot of stress lately and that I needed to take it easy. Need to learn how to cope with sudden panic attacks. Easier said than done.
I am feeling better now, embarking on a much needed 2-week vacation to see my family and friends. A lot of emotions are stirring up as I am sitting here in San Francisco. A lot of things that I forgot that I loved so much about being in the US.
Will I ever return home? The question is more complicated and the answer is less certain. I have many homes now, and whichever place it is that I choose to leave, a part of me will be left there too.
I don't know what my future holds for me and I don't think I can plan for anything beyond the scope of 365 days. All I know for certain, for now, is that I am coming home to my family. A day late for Christmas, but to a Christmas at home nonetheless.