|sent from: Esher, Surrey, UK. destination: Singapore, Malaysia|
This week I turned down what many would consider the opportunity of a lifetime, though it would have involved moving far away. I chose to stay and it’s a good choice, too. I want to stay. Still, as I hear about other friends flinging themselves around the world, I feel the pull of the unknown, the call of adventure.
My parents, however deliberately or simply through sheer necessity, found themselves living somewhere where anyone who met them knew instantly that they weren’t “from around there.” They’d come from somewhere else, they’d left their homes, and to an extent that defined how others saw them. How I saw them. They had stories of home, of a place not nearby, a place they’d left and could measure themselves by how they regarded it from afar.
When I lived in the USA I realise now how I reveled in that myself. I had a place to pine for, to miss, to eulogise and feel melancholic about. It was across an ocean and an entire continent. Now I’m back in the area where I grew up and to the casual observer, I might never have left. I feel ordinary. One of the crowd. When Americans living in the UK gather to celebrate public holidays they do it without me – I’m one of you, I want to cry, can’t you see?
I’m not sure when or under what circumstances I might move away again. For now I watch as friends embark on their adventures to places unknown, and know that I am home.