Hello. It’s been an intense few weeks. Having a bit of a sad evening.
The new job is going swimmingly, though the pace is pretty epic as we gear up for the students to begin on Monday. It’s been so lovely to be welcomed back by many staff, and to be producing work that is useful, attractive and appreciated. It’s also been great getting to know new people on my team; there’s a really different energy to the office now that it’s full! Also, working a 0.8 load over five days means that I finish at 3:15, and while it’s been a bit weird to leave so early, it is actually working out to be a really good fit for me.
Strictly Ballroom rehearsals have been really fun and I can’t get the songs out of my head (which can be a problem when trying to fall asleep at night). I’ve been really enjoying working with Denise, our vocal coach/co-musical director/Shirley Hastings. She’s very good at what she does – less than an hour and she manages to coach and guide and help me produce a strength of sound I didn’t know I could. Feeling much more confident than I was! Now the movement part…that’s a different story.
Church is also super busy at the moment because this weekend is the launch of the All Saints Network, which is a joining together of a number of congregations from a few different Anglican churches in northern Tasmania to become one new group. I’m designing the website, which is all happening last minute because sometimes that’s how it goes. And church on Sunday morning is going to be huge, as it’s the first time all these groups will be together as one at St John’s. I think I’m playing piano (though I didn’t have to choose the songs). Lots of emails have been flying around between all the staff and volunteers.
So because of all this mental load and the pretty full plate I’m managing, I’ve been coming home after work and just falling asleep for an hour. Mood-wise though, I’ve generally been feeling good.
And then tonight I realised that it’s Chinese New Year. And suddenly all the stress and busyness and tiredness just overwhelmed me and I cried. Because I am about as far away from my Chineseness as I’ve ever felt at the moment. Launceston isn’t a very Asian place at all. My Chinese family is far away and I feel quite disconnected from them at the moment. I feel like there is this immense pull of the Chinese part of myself, and yet I just don’t know what to do with it.
I’ve said it before, but being a halfie can be confusing. Frustrating. It sometimes makes me feel quite broken, or fractured. Each of my parents has their own experience of what our mixed family was like, but try as they might they won’t be able to know what it feels like for my brother and me. And his experience is different again from mine anyway. Children of missionary parents often talk of being Third Culture Kids – from one culture, transplanted into another, belonging to neither – and while that’s not strictly my experience, it does resonate with me. Having grown up in three different countries, having family from two different cultural backgrounds, it’s no wonder I’m confused.
So I cried. Then I remembered I was just really tired and that probably had a lot to do with it. So I played with my pets for a bit, then I did an hour of yoga and I still feel sad but at least my body feels a bit better. Now I should probably sleep hey. Yes that would be wise. Tomorrow I think I’ll eat char siew bao. They might just be frozen ones from the Asian grocer, but it’s better than nothing.