6 months ago, I had so many different emotions running through me as I boarded the plane to move to Europe. I was excited because I was going to a country I called home for nine years. I was nervous because I was going to start my career as a nurse. I was torn because I was leaving my family and my (now) husband behind. Given the circumstances that I had left earlier in the year and I had already said my "see you laters" to them, it hurt just as much the second time around. When I arrived, I felt like I knew everything about being here, but I also felt lost. Have you ever had that feeling before? The feeling that you're familiar with a place, but it's not quite the same as it was before? You know the names of places, but you don't know how to get there. You know customs and courtesies, but you're still afraid to reach out and meet new people. Well, that's how I felt when I moved here six months ago.
Everything looked exactly the same from when I left here about 9 years ago. The airport that I'd drop my mom off at was a little bit bigger. There was a "mall" built next to it too. I don't remember it being so big though. The only thing I remember was going to the airport and crying either really sad tears, or really happy ones. When I went back to my elementary school, everything looked the same, but there were more fences, and gates, and you couldn't just hop the fence from my old house into the playground anymore. Yet the buildings were still there, and all I got were flashbacks of my childhood. Something that I thought I'd never get again. Becaue when I went back to Hawaii a couple of years ago, they tore down my old neighborhood. So I'm glad that I was at least able to see the neighborhood I lived in here.
But back to present time, six months after my arrival, I find myself familiar with my surroundings. I no longer have to pull out my phone and use the GPS to go buy groceries. I've figured out what I like to buy from an American store versus what I like to buy from the economy. I know how long it takes me to get from my home to work when I'm running late in the mornings. I know when traffic is going to be heavy, but I know that my work hours never let me run into that problem anyway. I set my radio stations in my car. I have a running trail. My neighbors know my name now, and we occasionally pass by each other in the stairwell. I have my "go to" restaurants when people visit, and I know that they're always closed at certain times. I know where I want to get take out from when I'm too lazy to cook. I know which bakery has the best cheesecakes, and what ice cream stores have the best spaghetti eis.
I'm no longer lost in translation with where I live. I've adapted, and I've grown into the comfort of my surroundings. I have made memories with my husband and my family here in the town I live in. It doesn't feel like it's just me going through this anymore. I have things to look back on and smile about. I'm thankful for the opportunity to make a home away from home. And even if I'm alone, I'm far from being lonely.
This comes around every year and it usually takes me by surprise. There are some days where I don't think much about what's happened in my life in terms of adventures with my siblings, and there are days where I can't seem to think about anything else but that. I normally choose June 9, or July 15, or October 5 as my own little day of "memorial" but this year is different, I guess. I'm all about starting new this year, and I'm all about trying to remember the best of everything, and I pray that I wake up in good spirits every day. Some days are harder than others, like the three I've mentioned above, but most days are good.
After almost 10 years, I still have a difficult time coping with the question, "Jaclyn do you have any siblings?" The thoughts in my head go by very fast: "do I answer 1, 2, or 3?" "Do I tell them two of them aren't actually alive... or?" "What am I going to say if they ask where they are or what they do?" "Do I say I'm the oldest now, or...?"
And after watching 13 Reasons Why last night, I couldn't help but go to sleep a little angry. Because I already didn't post anything about my siblings on this dreadful holiday, but partly because I thought that if my brother, David, left me cassette tapes and a planned mission like that, I'd actually be really pissed. Because that's just cruel and unusual punishment for those you leave behind. I've been putting off watching this Netflix series by myself, but now that I've seen a few episodes, it just made me angrier than it made me sad. The fact that the girl leaves cassette tapes for 13(?) different people, but not a note to her parents is also a really messed up thought. I'm glad that my brother at least wrote something for us down. I believe I was the last person my brother talked to. When he left our house, he left his phone, and none of his friends knew where he was, I'm pretty sure. But the last thing my brother told me was to tell all of our family and his best friends that he was sorry for what he was going to do, and that he was sorry he couldn't make us proud... Little did he know that he was the one person I really looked up to, so I kind of still hate him for leaving me in the wind. But I loved him, and I love him still. I'm still just a little mad that he went back on his word saying that suicide was for pansies... Anyways, after watching 13 Reasons Why, and spending all night thinking about him, I figured that I'd write something for this little sibling holiday. So sibling wise, we go from 3 to 2 and then almost 3 again.
Three would have been my eenie, weenie, teenie sister-to-be, Annie. My mom would have called her Annie, personally, I thought Dani would have been a cuter name, because it would have included the "D" from David's name. I'd always wanted a little sister, but sadly enough, I wasn't granted that. We don't speak much about it, because it depends on how "real" she was to you. I know that to my mom, she was very much alive. To me, it feels like she was just a dream. Which surprisingly enough, I've always had a little girl in my dreams that is supposed to be my little sister, and she always appears around the same time that I have dreams of my brother. So maybe she is more real than I'd like to think. But losing her brings us down to 2. Myself and my kangaroo.
My younger brother, Dennis or better known as Joey, is alive and well, and every time I look at what he's doing, I can't help but feel proud. I remember when we were much younger, I loved playing with him. I liked taking him to the park, but sometimes I'd get mad because he'd hurt himself and I couldn't pick him up because he was just a ball of flubber. Then when he started walking and talking, he became a real sassy pants. We'd have our fights and arguments, but that never stopped him from coming back to the blanket fort to eat cereal out of a bowl like a puppy. When I look at him, I still see that little baby. I still see the baby who would run to his older sister before he ran to anyone else. Now he's all grown up, has a girlfriend, and is making presentations on his career plans after high school. From someone that would chase me around the house on his motorized, toy motorcycle to someone who is now driving Linda the Land Rover... From someone who would only eat chicken nuggets to someone who can make me breakfast. I remember when he first started having crushes on girls, and now he's in love with his girlfriend. Seeing my brother emotional makes me emotional. Seeing him hurt, hurts me deep down inside because of what I've seen my other brother go through, and the thought of a recurring event scares me to the bones. Although I know my younger brother is much stronger than we all think, so I must give credit where credit is due. I just don't think I'm ready to watch him grow into a young man, cause he'll always be a ball of flubber in my eyes.
Also, this year I was lucky enough to gain a sister-in-law, Haizel. I've always wanted a sister, but of course, I was not lucky enough to be granted that opportunity. But I have been lucky enough to have gained one another way. Haizel has become someone I've started to look up to. After I lost my older sibling, I kind of had to figure things out on my own through high school. "No help, no guidance. All on my own." Haha. So I'm very thankful for the role that she's played in my life, whether she knows that or not. Just having someone to talk to openly about things, and have someone give me advice (other than from my parents...) is really comforting.
I know this blog train of thought is so scattered, but eh... Anyways, here's to siblings, gone or alive; blood or by bond. I love all four of them.