Coming back here from Singapore is always mostly sad for me, and this time was no exception.
I find it difficult to explain sometimes why, despite the fact that I was born and raised in Australia, Singapore always feels more like Home to me.
Perhaps, more specifically, Bukit Timah, and the house on the land where my grandparents lived and my mum was born – land which my mind’s eye can easily fill with my Uncles’ stories about raising pigs and walking to school in bare feet with waxed umbrellas – feels like home to me. It’s easy to be strong, confident and resilient when waking up each day on the land of my fore-mothers, and venturing out into the world from a home filled with love and memories, a home in which I have always felt welcomed and wanted.
I have always tried to fill that gap in my Australian life with friends, who function as surrogate family. It isn’t the same, and I don’t think that it ever will be, but it is something.
I feel tired, inflamed and generally horrible from flying overnight and having my normal eating interrupted, but I was genuinely excited about the prospect of rolling tonight. It was my first training session since being at Evolve. I have not yet had the chance to properly reflect on everything that I learned and experienced at Evolve, although I have a long stream of correspondence from myself to Nick & Co which details it, and which I will go over in more detail.
My genuine joy at the prospect of going to training tonight, despite my physical state and my feelings (which I can only describe as “Other-Homesickness”), made me realise something though, and that is that wherever one can roll, one is Home. There is something about BJJ as a sport and as a community that allows you to not only be tolerated but welcomed anywhere where you step onto the mats. They say that home is where the heart is: I take mine with me, in the skills that I have poured my heart and mind into, hour upon hour.