29 January 2014

Surprise, Me! An Unexpected Re-Uprooting, Nearly Three Years Later.

aesthetic fauna // embrace
Our life in Amsterdam is full. Of noise, of luminosity, of warmth, of imagination, of exploration, growth. Full of fullness. After five weeks in the US of A, however, I'm still reeling from the pain of having to say farewell, again, to the people who know me best. The Colorado goodbyes hit me with blinding velocity. My friendships there have tethered me to the earth in my darkest moments, brought me back into the light. I owe them nothing, everything; I am due the same from them. Reciprocity is a masterpiece.

One of my first friends in Holland, an Australian, told me that she'd become proficient in not missing people, in moving forward and focusing on the life immediately in front of her, that with each move she made, the pain became less and less. I immediately found her declaration harsh, robotic, insensitive. What I realized over time, though, was that such a perspective is essential to this kind of life, necessary weaponry against heart-devouring homesickness. This friend became dear to me. She provided me with the kind of companionship I'd been yearning for. And then she moved a third of the way across the world.

Fast forward to recent history. In the past twelve months, I have said goodbye to more than a handful of people, two of them whom I'd become incredibly close to. The most recent migration nearly split me in half. My love for her children almost perfectly matched that for my own.

I was just going to say that I've recently become weary of losing people, that something in me has veered away from acceptance, but in the name of my newfound mission of transparency, I admit this: I am not a good expat. I have never been one. I will always wrestle with homesickness, even if I veil it well. There's beauty to living in the moment. I get it. And I can do it for 23 hours of the day. It's that last hour that gets me, in the stinging realization that I don't know the middle names of my best friends' kids back home. Life has been hurtling ahead without me. The fact that the rich and connected life I lived before can only be revisited in short bursts is, in that brief moment, unbearable. 

This, too, shall pass. Time will dampen the ache. But until then, my metaphorical arms are constricted around the inconspicuously quadrilateral state that is Colorado, nestled not by accident in the nation's center, close to the heart.