When Jo and I wrote weekly to each other, our conversations meandered and intertwined… Monday Morning Emails was the honest and often vulnerable result.
It wasn’t surprising that often we were experiencing the same dilemmas, situations, emotions and challenges in our global life.
Today, this rings ever-so-true and so my Monday Morning Musing harkens to the past when it was…
I read your latest musing, nodding – in knowing, in acknowledgement, in empathy. Yet having spent a lot of time in The Hague, I know the engaging, cultural city that it is. I admit, my first thought was how incredibly fortunate you are to call it home and on many days, I would live there in a heartbeat. Yet, I totally understand and it is so very true. For those of us who have lived, or live, overseas, discombobulation visits us often. Everywhere is home – yet maybe nowhere too?
To those who have not shared the experience of life in other countries, it can be difficult to fully describe how life-changing it is. And in fact often when we share our conflicting emotions, we might hear… ‘But your life looks so perfect, so privileged.’
It’s assumed we’ll ‘get on with it’ and adapt to a more settled life. And fair enough, but what people can’t know is our inescapable longing for other places – where pieces of our heart may still linger or where serendipity awaits us against an enticing new backdrop.
As you know, Jo, I am ‘attempting repatriation’… can it actually be a year and a half since we left India? There are days when it literally feels like yesterday. And there are days when time crawls and my entire being yearns for the intrigue of a foreign country. Despite having travelled often since India, I am still learning to call home, home. “It took me six years,” a friend recently confided.
A range of thoughts currently pepper the conversations in our home: we might go back overseas, we may stay in our small Canadian mountain town for ‘keeps’, perhaps we’ll live there and somewhere else too, maybe we’ll find our ‘forever home’, and then the one persistent thought… let’s just pack our bags and go! There are four or five European cities we could cheerfully call home.
And just when I reconcile one path, Bruce’s new endeavours point in another direction and the whole panoply of options gets re-shuffled according to different opportunities, practicalities… and dreams. The new option then takes its turn atop the deck. It seems that feeling adrift on the ebb and flow of scenarios is my new normal. I can’t believe I’m saying this but, oh, for those days when the company whittled it down for you. When your husband announced, “Hon, it’s India.” “It’s Kazakhstan.” “It’s Norway…” Now, it’s all up to us. Yes, just like most people live their lives. Seemingly so simple, yet somehow unique for us.
So we’ve spent this past week at our wee abode in the city and it’s been exactly what I needed. There’s been long walks through golden leafy streets and along the pristine, turquoise waters of the Bow River. We’ve enjoyed stops in bustling cafes, wine bars, and conversations with people from around the world. I’ve happily observed that contemporary Calgary is a culturally diverse and vibrant city. Perhaps it’s on the cards to live here again… time will tell.
With autumn debuting its spectacular shades, and with cooler days ahead, I have been reminded of what I myself preach… patience, patience, patience.
Yes Jo, this longing to be here, to be there, or indeed the reality (or not) of repatriation, are all part and parcel of a global life. As we wrote often to each other… round and round it goes!
Much love for now, Terry Anne