Here, There and Back Again

Struggling with Homesickness and Loneliness

February 2019, it’s lovely to see you … What do you mean it’s March?! Okay, I’ll put my hands up; my blog post a month hasn’t gone according to plan, but it can be fixed. You get two this month, you lucky ducks!

This month saw me return from my work in China to England for a glorious few weeks. Friends, family and adventures all crammed into 27 days of loveliness! I shall say now I am not intending any of this to sound like I am boasting and apologise if it reads as such. I understand I am privileged to do these things and every day I remember how lucky I am.

While home, my days included snowy walks, a weekend get-a-way, glorious food (A LOT of food) and theatre shows that I have been excited about for well over a month.

All these things meant returning back to work became a heartache as

opposed to a joy. I want to be honest about how I felt for the first few days being back abroad and how it played on my mind. Overall, I was homesick for, not only my partner, family and friends but for the familiarity of England and the, in particular, the ease of understanding. In China, the language plays a big part in feeling comfortable. It’s incredible how we take communication for granted and being here, in a place where the language is particularly tricky to learn, does put a strain on feeling at home.

Loneliness and ways to overcome it

I’m dedicating this to anyone in a similar position or may even do this job themselves in the future. Loneliness can occur wherever but, in my case, I want to talk about it in a working environment. I’ve had two jobs that have felt isolating, but I can look back on them and be incredibly proud of what I’ve done.  Here is a  list of ways that helped me feel more present and relaxed being away from home.

Top Tips

  1. The Bigger Picture. The main thing helping me while I’m away is remembering how amazing it’ll be once I’ve completed the contract and I can go forward saying I’ve done it. I know it will look great on a CV and it can set me up for my future endeavours.
  2. Local Network. There are a wonderful collection of people here in Chengdu that are all here doing what I’m doing. I was lucky that I had a way to be in contact with a group of folks before I arrived so it made things easier, even if the first time I met the foreign community here wasn’t until four weeks into my stay.
  3. Personal Planning. Keeping myself busy by planning out my social time and  my work duties allows me to focus on the present. Stops my head wondering into the things I might be missing back home.
  4. The joy your work is bringing to others. performance brings great joy to an audience and to the performer. It links back to having a focus and throwing yourself into a show allows time to fly, particularly helpful in a position like mine. It makes me enjoy being here as well as knowing I’m closer to going home.

A long post today but I hope this comforts anyone planning a long term adventure of their own. Thank you for your time and keep smiling! X

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