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Yesterday, my break from work for the Christmas holiday started. When I got home at 4pm, I got into bed and did not get out until 10am this morning. I feel as though I have been running a marathon for the last 6 weeks and then ran, head-first, into a brick wall. It was all I could do to peel myself out of bed to heat up leftovers for dinner and go to the bathroom.

This morning, I awoke with renewed energy. I cleaned my apartment, changed my bed sheets, and packed my suitcase.

I leave tomorrow night. I can’t decide if I’m excited or not. Weirdly, I’m excited to return on the 30th. I guess I’m just being realistic about this trip. It will be short, thankfully, but I will also be jet-lagged for most of it. The time will fly by. Yes, I’m excited to see my parents and my best friend. But, I don’t feel like I’m ready for a trip back yet. I was just there seven months ago. And every time I leave home, I feel like I’m pressing “pause” on my real life.

Maybe I’ll be more excited when I get to the airport.

I know what it is. I feel guilty that I’m not as excited as my mom is for my arrival. Have you ever heard anyone say that they “feel bad about not feeling worse” when something bad happens? Well, now I feel bad about not feeling happier. I am happy that I will spend a bit more time with my dad. I’m happy to see my mom face to face and do some real shopping.

I’m really excited to come back home with presents for everyone.

My life just isn’t over there anymore. I’m not one foot in, one foot out like I used to be. Both of my feet are firmly planted over here, and until that changes, I just need to look at my trips to the US as “vacation.” I wish people would stop referring to it as “home.” Mom: “I can’t wait for you to be home!” Friends: “When are you getting home?” I am home.

I will try to just relax and enjoy vacation. Shopping, mom’s cooking, unlimited hot water in the shower, central heat, and a NYC Christmas with Laura. Then, home for New Years Eve. It will be fine.