Monday, December 18, 2017

Thoughts of Home

It's strange how the stream of consciousness works sometimes.

A new acquaintance recommended that I listen to a hip-hop artist, which, being a lover of music, of course I took her up on.  While I thought this artist was alright, I decided to listen to some other artists that I prefer, and I came across this song, which I hadn't listened to in a couple of years...

...and I was not, and remain not, ready for the emotions that have been going through me since then.

Living in Taiwan, for the most part, has been an absolute breeze since I came here.  So much so that it has actually been very difficult to write about.  Frankly, the biggest difference between Taiwan and the US, when it comes to daily life, is the 14-hour time jump.  The language barrier can be tough at times, but everyone is so nice (locals and expats) that the difficulty with Chinese is pretty well-mitigated.  Everything else?  Roads, cars, buses, parks, malls, movie theaters, baseball games: it's pretty much coming to a more peaceful, cheaper state that happens to speak Chinese and have single-payer healthcare.

At least, that's how I thought until recently.

Over the last week, I've been feeling pretty empty, for the most part.  Unfortunately, I was having difficulty articulating why.  After all, nothing had really changed over the previous weeks, which were some of the best times that I had had since coming to Taiwan.  And then it hit me: I miss home.

This is a really simple statement that seems obvious, and it would be for most people, I would imagine.  However, if I'm to be perfectly honest, I've never felt particularly attached to any one place or even group of people.  I know that this is incredibly hurtful to my family and close friends, but it's true: after living in many different homes with many different housemates and family compositions in my childhood to many family members (both extended and immediate) passing away in my teenage years, it's been really hard to attach myself to anyone.  In many ways, moving abroad seemed to be an obvious choice.

Spending Christmas away from home was just an extension of that; a part that I always knew was going to happen when I made the choice to move here.  Seeing all of the decorations and hearing the music (and the above trigger) has made me realize something, however: spending Christmas with family was really the one constant in my life for over 27 years, and now, that won't be a possibility because of a decision that I made, as an adult, to leave.

And I feel like an eight-year-old alone in a field.

I suppose that I should have anticipated it, but nope; no such luck.

In all of this, though, I think that I finally understand what my meaning of home truly is.  Home is my base; the foundation of my psyche.  Home is the people that love me and whom I love equally in return.

Right now, I can't be home, but-at last-I know where it is.  And, even though I'm not there, having that understanding is heartening.

Who knows?  Maybe I can extend that home to out here someday.

Merry Christmas, I love you all.