I’ve longed for home more than ever in this past year.
As hard as I fell for Melbourne, the romance predictably wore off once our relationship settled into a routine. I spent as much of my non-teaching time as I could in Sydney; stealing away for long weekends for simple joys like catching the entire Bell Shakespeare season and staying up late to have Korean fried chicken with Benian.
I turned 30 at the start of the month during a time when I became acutely aware of how important family was to me. Two friends I have known since I was 12 are expecting a baby in December. Two people close to me lost their fathers; both left the world suddenly and too soon. Every time I boarded a plane back to Melbourne, my hermitical work life — despite its considerable rewards — grew colder.
In August, I started to look for a new job that would bring Benian and I together again. I didn’t want to get his hopes up and told only a single friend in Sydney that the university I have admired for years — her alma mater — was hiring. I finally broke the news to Benian when I was short-listed, who was only more pleased when I was eventually made an offer three weeks ago.
I’m now preparing to move back to Sydney to start my new job at the University of Technology Sydney in January, and looking to the future with great optimism for what it’ll bring.
I’m excited for new collaborations, inspirations and projects. I want to continue my theorisations of race in organisations as well as put the wheels in motion to conduct a more ambitious project with a social enterprise I’ve admired for a long time now.
But perhaps more than anything, I’m grateful that I’ll be able to see my husband everyday again. We can have dinner on the same table, cuddle with our cat, and play coop without having to use microphone headsets. I’m grateful that I’ll be there when my friends’ son arrives, and that I can see my dad and talk about the TV shows he’s binge-watching over his home-made steamed buns.