Reflections on Another Country

Perhaps it is the struggle to fully embody gratitude that always leaves me with mixed feelings about most of my life choices. That and just eternal indecision. After a year or two of returning back home, I developed the indefatigable itch to relocate. I yearned to go back to the Middle East – a region I will never truly be over with. At the inception of the new decade, a chance to fulfil that yearn emerged and I started to fantasise of life in the dry heat, of fatoush and baba ganoush, a dramatic temperament and the passionate beat of my favourite Semitic language. But the pandemic trampled on this potential change of residence and I reluctantly and resentfully suppressed these dreams. Today, in a matter of weeks we are back on the brink of change to the Middle East and I have to admit, my stance on relocation has made quite a sharp U-turn.

I have started to finally feel at home in my homeland. Finally, we had a real set-up – with work and friends and family all so prettily choreographed to complete our days, weeks and months. Favourite restaurants and daily flat whites, business ideas and adventures, volunteer groups to be apart of, weekly fitness repertoire, bestie brunches and date night dinners, monthly hangouts and family parties. Simplistic and bourgeois, but life had a rhythm and an enduring community that was no longer just populated with the beautiful but transient.

Every day that gets us closer to departure date is peppered with instances of apprehension and panic, wondering whether it’s best to abort the mission now. But somehow we trudge along, knowing that there are some real benefits to this choice (mainly mine, and not his), and that this time, the move would be different. We would be together, it is definitely going to be a short-term stint, it is definitely going to lead to a return to our favourite neighbourhood and our best life back home.

Breathe deeply and embrace this adventure; in a matter of months it will just be a memory of something we did in 2023, and so let’s make that memory fun, intense and fulfilling.

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