Mariachi setting in Ljubljana
Sorry I haven't been posting much. There really just hasn't been a heck of a lot going on. Or maybe I haven't been thinking much about the things that have been going on.
I've been working a little and putting more time into driving since I STILL am shaky on the whole enterprise. These days, I am actually eager for my lessons (The Captain has now taken the helm as my instructor), and I can see my goals coming slowly but surely into view. This time, I am gonna stick with it until I get there.
I recently had a new (but good) friend come to visit me from Berlin and it got me thinking about a lot of things. We had a lot of good and interesting (and sometimes hilarious!) chats and we really just connected. One day, we were in a cafe and a couple in hilariously awful outfits strolled up, and she and I just looked at each other and started cracking up laughing. It was wonderful. I don't have that connection with any of my friends here. That's the good stuff, the stuff that I hope will come in time....
Since my friend and I are both Americans who are living the expat life at the moment, talks and thoughts did tend to focus on that. While some expats are here in Europe with a definite expiration date, a clear feeling that they want to live in America, yearly trips back home. I don't have that feeling, I don't have that urge. I even mentioned to my friend that I think that when I have kids, I'd like to send them to Ghana on a regular basis so they can learn the language and be familiar with family and culture. She asked how it would work being "tricultural" and I told her that I think I'd just cut the American part out a bit; meaning I probably just wouldn't be taking them or sending them to America much. I was trying to think about why. Am I denying some part of myself? Am I harboring some sort of chauvinistic animosity towards the US? I don't think it is any of that. I think I am fairhanded toward the country, it has definite plusses and minuses as any other. It's definitely a neat place, it's the country with places that I know best. It's the country where , when I speak, I am best understood. I will always be plenty American and pass that along to any kids I might have, since that is what I am and the only thing I can honestly bring to the table culture-wise. I guess there is some idea that I could equip any children I might have with things that would help them combat that Non-Belonging feeling that I've grappled with so much. Maybe Non-Belonging is sometimes just part of the human condition?
I haven't formed any one real coherent thought to express what I am thinking, what might be the reason, but here are a couple thoughts:
One idea surrounds around the fact that, as a black person, I kinda feel more or less uncomfortable everywhere.
I miss my family and friends, but they are not necessarily centrally-located in one American city or anything.
I do miss shopping and cultural events and bookstores and certain foods, but I am unsure whether that all is worth building a life around.
There is also the fact, that I don't think I was very successful at America. I am not sitting on top of the world here in Slovenia, but I think I am doing considerably better.
So, I don't know what the truth of the matter is -- probably a little from column A and a little from column B. Do you have similar or divergent thoughts about your expat experience? Hey Mom!! You are an expat, any thoughts? Do share!