I was talking with my Friend “N’ about the idea that as expatriates we seem to go into waiting mode…when we get back…when we go home…waiting for what exactly I ask myself... Not conducive to nurturing the kind of soul feeding relationships that every one needs to dip into periodically. Granted there are all the interesting things to see and to do. But well, it wears off ...and then it becomes a home (just like home-home) except with no family and old friends…yuck.
Old friends, those people in your life who really know you, people who just like you for who you are, warts and all…and with whom you have some history. You are FRIENDS. Family who love you and support you, with whom you share stories, who call you by your first name and tease you about all silly things you do.
These are the things we really miss.
No one can begin to express the loneliness of expatriate life. We do make friends, but it is never really the same. Something about sharing the ridiculous minutiae of life that your mother or walking buddy wants to hear but that an aquaintance does not.
My kids tell me they really miss their grandparents; (oooh that is a little chip of my heart breaking off), even sometimes that they want to go “home”. When I ask them what that is like though, they can’t tell me much (which is a whole other layer of scariness…). Lots of guilt about that for sure, but it is equally balanced by the desire to expose them to other things, languages and cultures.
Sooo…If we value all of this so much then we should move back home…and ...well I guess that is where we are, yet the other side of the coin is pointing us in the other direction.
I am sure that I am not the only expat mom who feels this angst…where is the balance??