One of the things I always loved about Chicago was returning. From the plane, the city would emerge in the distance as a halo of light, becoming more distinct as buildings and neighborhoods began to make themselves clear in the skyline. There's Wrigley Field, the Sears Tower, the Hancock Building, Lakeview, River North. From the train, the city came through in stages - in the suburbs, on the outskirts, getting to the center, downtown, at the station. I felt most connected to the city when I came back. I'm here. I'm home now.
Singapore does not yet feel like home. I don't quite feel like myself here yet, and I don't feel as though I'm acting quite like myself yet. Despite work, I'm on vacation. I'm pretending at a life. My routines are coming into focus, but haven't yet gelled. It's a half-life. A pretending.
Of the many reasons for leaving this weekend, perhaps the greatest was to be able to come back. To bring my suitcase to the place where I will unpack my paltry belongings and begin again the process of settling in. This weekend was, in part, a celebration - of finishing, of moving forward. A chance to read and sit with my feet in the sand and my eyes on the horizon. But, perhaps most importantly, it was to be a chance to accept that I've truly moved. That the lights of Wrigley won't be greeting me upon return home. That I won't enter my foyer to find my bike anticipating the next ride. That the life I built over the last five years is changed. Is gone.
Back to Singapore. Home.