I'm in a strange place. I'm new to China but not new to living apart from my passport country (as we say here), family, and friends. Part of me is still super excited to be in China, but part of me is also really tired of being far away from people I know and love.
One of the major differences between China and Nigeria is that China has a lot more. There is constant electricity; there are stores like Wal-Mart, B&Q (British Home Depot), and Carrefour (French Target); there are paved roads without potholes; there are multiple Starbucks, KFCs, and McDonald's; and there is a fellowship of expats that is phenomenal.
But sometimes having all of those things just makes me miss the things I don't have - namely, important people in my life.
I got an email the other day from a friend back home and, honestly, the first thought that ran through my head was, "Whew! He still remembers me." This is not to say that I haven't been blessed by friends who are good at keeping up with me, or with a family that is patient with my poor communication skills. This was, however, a momentary yielding to a heavy thought that seems to be pressing more and more against the edges of my consciousness - this isn't a short term trip anymore. It has become a lifestyle, and one which I don't see the end of anytime soon (though who am I to say?).
And even though I have been expecting this since the fourth grade, it is still a weighty realization to come to.