It can only be described as the perfect evening as I am sitting around with my loved ones, laughing and enjoying ourselves the same as we did in old times, before everyone got busy and wrapped up in their own lives. Everyone is so jovial, content just to be in each other’s company. I’d forgotten I had a single care in the world until I checked the time and realized that it was getting late and I had a busy day the next day. “Oh gosh, I didn’t realize it was so late, guys! I really need to head out.”
My sudden realization completely shatters the mood and I am met with a sea of pained faces staring back at me. One of them woefully pipes up, “This is how you leave us every time. We don’t even know when we will see you again…”
Horrified, I wake up. I’m no longer in America with my loved ones but thousands of miles away in my own apartment in Saudi Arabia by myself. I’ve still been gone for nearly 6 months. But time doesn’t ever make these things easier, does it? These types of dreams still occur, and they still stick in my mind for weeks.
One would think that I would be ecstatic since I get to return home in two short weeks, but I really can’t help but feel like it’s a lie. All artificial. I go home, see my loved ones, enjoy my city, pretend nothing is changed. Then at the end of the week I am hit with that sad reminder in the form of a boarding pass that lets me know this was all an illusion and this really isn’t my life anymore. Like picking the scab off a wound all over again, I come back to Saudi and wait for it to heal, just so I can rip it off again my next trip home. It’s a vicious cycle.
Am I excited to go home in two weeks? Yes? No? I don’t really have an answer. I am sure I will be so happy to see my loved ones for a week, but I don’t think I can get thrilled about spending the next few weeks trying to lessen the inevitable sadness that comes with the lifestyle. Sometimes I can’t help but ask myself ‘is it easier just to stay here?’ And while the answer might be yes, I know that it isn’t worth it to miss voluntarily miss out on any time with my loved ones, no matter how short that time may be.