Thursday, November 15, 2012

I belong where again?

Being a first generation migrant, I've taken it that I would never fully belong to my adopted country. However, having said that part of me feels I no longer fully belong to my home country either. I wonder if this is a normal feeling among migrants.

In June, hubby and I decided that we would go back and live in Manila some time next year. We were deadset on it for a few months - winter months - and now that summer is supposed to be kicking in we are having second thoughts. And it's not just him this time, I am too.

We still think that little B is best surrounded by family and close friends while she is growing up (at least experience that for a year or two). That was the main reason for wanting to temporarily move back home. But then as the weather became warmer, so did our plans. Reality kicked in. If we would move for a year or so, then we would have to dispose of a lot of our items, aline our finances, ensure we have a livelihood to go to, and come up with back up plans, plans for when we return back to Oz after X years, all that among other things.

Slowly the reality of what is waiting for us in Manila's literal climate, political environment, financial situation became a shady topic. The bright future, steady and orderly lifestyle in Sydney looked a bit more pleasant and bearable. Then again, thinking about spending time with family and friends tug that corner of my heart. For little B.

As much as I still have a part of me that yearns to go home, another part of me is holding me back to stay put. I needed my family "fix" which I got when the winter spell was broken by my parents' week long visit. That revived me. I know we need family visits more frequently. Maybe that is the answer?

Somehow the thought of going home touched me deeply with memories of my younger days at "home". But everyone back home has moved on now. It is no longer how I remember it. There may be familiar places, familiar faces, but all these are no longer the same. We've all moved on. And along the way I have adopted a lifestyle that suits where I live now, which is quite far off from what my home country can offer. It even feels like a harder decision to move back to Manila than it was for me to migrate to Sydney.

I wish I can say I am "home" if we do stay put here now, but I can't. But then I wish that going back home to Manila is as easy a decision to make. I feel like I have my Manila home in a bubble, a special jar of memories which I know existed once and at some point I had in my life. But Manila now has changed the same way I have after a decade of being away. Time can really do this to a person, to a city once called home, a new city now called home.

Recharge. I think my family and I just need to have a long visit home to Manila, only to appreciate again our adopted home. I really just wish I can take all my family and bring them here with me - all for my little B.

Photo from Linda Yvonne (flickr)

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