I spent the last few days with my parents and sister in my hometown.. It’s always a wonderful experience going back home. It’s the place I grew up in, so I expect there to be a lot of familiarity – I expect to just meld into the people and systems around the house, as if I had never left. But that is not the case any more. For the most part, my arrival is treated like a special event because I only visit them for a few days a year – my family moves their schedules around to spend more time with me, there are gatherings with the extended relatives, there are special meals cooked for me, and outings planned to show me the new spots to hang out at. That kind of treatment felt nice when I used to visit from the US, and even today, I appreciate all of it because I know it comes from a good place. But it does make me increasingly feel like an outsider at times as well. I am a member of a small 4-person team, so I feel like I am supposed to know where we keep the spare bulbs at home, or what medications my mom takes, or what we feed the stray cats we’ve adopted! Thankfully, we all share a very close relationship, in that we are constantly talking on our little WhatsApp group, and speaking over the phone a few times a week. But I still struggle with learning to accept that as I go on to build my own 2-person-1-dog team, some things just have to change and cannot be the same as they were ten years ago. And realizing that the most important thing I can do is really make sure I show up when they need me the most. And that might mean that I will need some extra help while changing the light bulbs, but that’s okay!
One of my favorite illustrators/painters is Brian Andreas. And one of my favorites from his collection is this one called Home. I am reminded of my parents every time I see it..