Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Home?

As if it was yesterday. Sometimes I feel as if I will go to bed tonight. To my bed. But which bed is that? The one I slept in for a year? Or the one I have a home, the house I grew up in? Or the other one in Vienna? It can get really confusing if you lived abroad for a long time.
Time flies by faster.
The world appears smaller.
Beloved ones are spread all over the planet.
Ordinary things in one country are weird to do in another one.
Home as such no longer exist.
At least not for me.
I am back in Austria for nearly half a year now. And it does not feel like that. From time to time I still think in English, start to talk to strangers in English, am always short of cash, still rely on having a car on hand all the time. I still remember the sound of putting the car keys back on the key board, the sound the washing machine made when I opened it, the smell in the garage, the feeling of our dog Brady. I still know in which isle you can find bread crumbs or nibblers. What brand of juice, band-aids, yogurt, etc I used to buy. If someone would tell me go back to that life, I could and I would even know where to get everything from.
Sometimes I get nervous when I cannot find my blue phone I had during that year. But the next moment I remember that I am in Austria again. Without any blue phone. Or that I sometimes really forget about speaking German at Starbucks. It just feels normal to place my order in English. I also started to love malls. Whenever I feel a little awkward or down being at a bigger mall makes me feel better again! Weird, isn’t it?
How is it possible that you can fine a new home, that felt like a vacation destination in the first place? And how did I never arrive completely in Austria again?
I found a really good quote that described how I feel after being away for some time. And it is true, at least for me. Sometimes I still wave at cars that I connect with certain people. It even happens that I want to buy something and then I realize, nope not possible, that store is about 7000 kilometers away. I still sometimes feel weird not giving a hug to say “hello” but to kiss two times on the cheeks. home
But I am more than willing to pay that price. I learned so much in the time I lived in Chicago. I became friends with the most amazing people I’ve ever met. I cared for three wonderful girls that I miss more than everything and it breaks my heart not to know when I will ever see them again. I panic when I read about a tornado that hit areas of Illinois. I have the urge to write Christmas cards to everyone, just like all superficial Americans. I get excited when I hear people speaking English. I tear up when my phone rings and a really, really good friend calls from Germany to wish me a happy birthday. I have little dance party moments when I receive post cards and letters from all over the world. Having no longer just one place that I can call home is fair, I gained so much!! Friends, kids, wisdom, inspiration, knowledge, love, etc.
It is fair, because the world is now my home!

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