Today it is a decade since my husband and I moved to the UK.
Like all those who move from one society to another (whether by choice or forced by their circumstances) our first few years were spent in longing… longing, in equal measure, for the life we left behind and the life we wanted to build here. Equal parts nostalgia and determination.
And like all those who put down roots anew, today I feel a strong sense of belonging… belonging twice over, in equal measure, to both, the community we left behind and the community we are part of here.
Today is also my birthday, and like all those who celebrate these milestones in parallel realities (real life and online!) it is inevitably a day spent looking at one screen or another, as the warm wishes pour in. Late night emails & early morning phone calls, Facebook, WhatsApp & Skype around the clock: my digital reality today is yet another reminder of how very fortunate I am, to have so much love sent my way from such distant parts of the world. Meanwhile my physical reality – doing deeply rewarding work while enjoying a sunny day in a beautiful garden I get to call my own, before enjoying a celebratory evening – reminds me how privileged my life here is too.
I find myself sighing even as I smile… and acknowledge, yet again, this borderless state of mind I enjoy, the sheer privilege of a globalised life, and yes, the lifetime of saudade I’ve signed myself up for.