Candlebright in Things That I'm Grateful For

  • April 30, 2022, 9:41 a.m.
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  • Public

Ironically, something that was said on the new season of The Real World: Homecoming triggered a thought process in my head. I know why I have such severe panic attacks but I only know the symptoms, not the cause.

I have panic attacks like that out of fear.

But I couldn’t figure out what exactly I was afraid of in this situation. There didn’t seem to be any rationale behind it. Usually, I can reason my brain out of these types of situations. I kept telling myself that there’s nothing I could do because I can’t control the future. But what exactly was I afraid of?

As I landed in Phnom Penh, it finally hit me. It was something so simple and so absurd that I looked right over it. I am absolutely terrified that I won’t be allowed back into Thailand because that is my home now.

I have a very strange relationship with the concept of “home” that winds throughout the history of my life. To make a long-story short, I have never really had a home. I’ve never had a place that felt like I had a life. I loved LA and all the people I met, but it never grabbed me or connected me at all. My mother threw me out when I was 19, and I’d only lived with her for 2 years, so I never felt like that place was home. I was in Paris for a brief period of time so that wasn’t home. New Orleans has a large piece of my heart, but that was always temporary, too.

Bangkok is the first time I’ve put down roots. I have a life, I have a nice place I live, I have friends, I have routines, I have a job that I (mostly) love. I’ve never had any of these things before and the idea that I could lose all of that sent me spiraling into a physical state of distress.

Tonight is my last night in Phnom Penh. This city is extraordinary, if you follow my Instagram I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures I’ve posted. And whilst I find it easier to get around Phnom Penh than Bangkok, largely thanks to the fact that most signage is in French as well as Khmer & Mandarin, I’m praying that everything goes smoothly tomorrow morning and I can sleep in my own bed tomorrow evening.

Because there is an unsettling truth that also dangles in the back of my mind… I have no back-up plan. If I don’t get back into Thailand, I’m stuck. But whatever, tomorrow I’m going home.

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