I think there is a moment when living abroad that you begin to forget the distance between you and what used to be your old home. The old life is continuing without you, you are living life without it, and there comes a moment when you realize those two things are no longer connected. The only glue is the people you care about.
It starts with the little things, like the style of speaking, the style of clothing and those changes become bigger and bigger. One day you’re sitting in your apartment with a French acceptance letter into university, French books spilling from the walls, and you realize this is now your life. You are speaking a language that used to just be beautiful mumblings, you are making a life for you.
It hit me today while I was watching a soccer match with French people as they were yelling and cheering about their team scoring, and it reminded me of football season in America. But this was different. When I screw something up, or do something out of the cultural ordinary, I tend to say “well in America…” but then I wonder if it really is like that in America. Or is it me?
This is a rambling post, but it was an interesting feeling today. I felt far from my culture, the land that raised me, the people that made me, but I know that I will never be able to shake that off of me. It is who I am. I will never lose it. Though it feels far today, I can’t deny the feeling that everything that I am working for at the moment feels like what I need to be doing. I am proud of that.
If you are an expat, have you ever had a day like this?
I wondered about the explorers who’d sailed their ships to the end of the world. How terrified they must have been when they risked falling over the edge; how amazed to discover, instead, places they had only seen in their dreams
– Jodi Picoult Continue reading “Risks”
Give me 6-12 months in a new town or city, my mind will start to think about the next city to live in. It is a habit, something I cannot help. I noticed it the last move, between Oregon and Indiana. I absolutely adored the suburb I lived in outside of Portland, the friends I had made and the high school I went to (my teachers made going to school worthwhile). Then when we arrived to Indiana, I cried for months. Why had I agreed to move when I loved home so much?
Continue reading “A Beautiful Mess”
Senior year of high school my compass for choosing universities was always spinning. Each day I was talking my mom’s ear off about how THIS certain university was the one I HAD to go to. My mom always told me, “Veronica, you need to get your compass pointed north, you are spinning everywhere and do not know where you want to go.”
She was right. I knew where I wanted to end up and what degree I wanted to get, but I did not know which school could do that for me. I also believe I had these thoughts running through my head that told me, “you need to be like everyone else and go to college. You need to have that broke, dorm room college life”. I know these feelings came from the fact that my high school years were full of moving places and loneliness. Yet, one night in the car with my mom, she just out of the blue said, “how about you move abroad?” Continue reading “Compass Pointed North”
On the wind, ‘cross the sea, / Hear this song and remember… Soon you’ll be home with me / Once upon a December.
We used to chant growing up, “together in Paris!”
Here we are, 16 years later, never actually knowing that we would be living together… in Paris.
Continue reading “Red Lips, Black Heels”