I’m flying home for the hols tomorrow, and this time, it isn’t a surprise (three years ago, I showed up at my parents’ doorstep at 2 am in the middle of a snowstorm). Though I’m looking forward to it, I wish I were as ecstatic as I usually am when I go home, especially since I only see all my fam and friends on average once a year. But I’ve had a lot on my mind these past few months.
Consider this an uncensored diary entry of sorts. Political correctness isn’t something I necessarily expect of others, but once in a while, exceptions must be made. Taiye Selasi thinks so, too. In her talk Don’t ask where I’m from, ask where I’m a local, she says: “Our experience is where we’re from.” She also admits her biggest problem with ‘coming from’ countries is the myth of going back to them – something I can definitely relate with.
Whenever I tell people I live abroad, they usually have the same reaction. Germans are often so shocked, they can’t help but chuckle, “Why would anyone want to leave a prosperous country of such vast land and natural beauty?” Others are initially intrigued and praise me for my courage but then quickly mumble something about not being able to do it themselves because they’d get homesick or miss their families too much.
It’s true. Not being able to see my family on a whim straight up sucks. Especially when the times get tough. I can recall several occasions when all I wanted was to curl up in my mom’s arms for a good, honest cry fest.
Living in Europe has rubbed off on me more than I realize. I’ll probably be able to better evaluate it years from now, but for the time being, especially since I’m leaving Germany likely for good quite soon, I can’t help but reflect on how I’ve changed in the past three years.
In less than four weeks – I’ve been deliriously counting down the days in my calendar – I’ll be home for a brief visit. The last time I was across the pond feels like ages ago although it was just about a year and a half ago. I experienced reverse culture shock the first few times I went home; I already anticipate I’ll feel it again when I’m back in Toronto next month.