Trip Around the Sun - Somewhat Different This Time
For the first time in three years, I celebrated my birthday in Germany last Saturday - where my roots are. I wish my husband could have been with us, but: he’s helping to keep the country safe.
Being an expat, for me personally, always means to have pieces of my heart in different places. Having lived abroad in London, New York, and now San Diego (click on the map for more posts), my heart is in all of those places, including Germany, where I lived the greatest portion of my life. Hence, being an expat also means that you’ll most likely always miss someone especially for special occasions. It just comes with the territory.
New Year of Life - New Perspective
It’s always funny how, when I return home, so much has happened in the meantime (creating my own life, becoming a mother…). Yet, there’s a part of me that never really changes. I become the little girl again when sitting at the dining table with my parents. Nonetheless, I realize that I did, indeed, grow up and changed my perspective on so many things. Life in California left its mark on me. But I am thankful for it, because, overall, it makes me the person I want to be and truly feel comfortable with.
I have changed. No doubt about that. But that is just normal. We do get older - and certainly wiser, one way or another.
Present and Past Collide
As I was sitting there, eating breakfast with my parents, my little son on my lap, it was as if it’s never been any different. Yet, it has. So much, in fact. Past and present, in that moment, somehow collided. I was longing for my life in California - the present part of me -, while the other part was returning to past times, a younger age, in the German countryside. Whenever I am home, things are being put into perspective.
It always feels as if I have moved on so very much with my life elsewhere, while, in the meantime, everything stayed the same at home. However, this only shows me that “my roots” will always be a constant for me. And that puts my mind at ease.
Growing up and being an expat is a combination that can make you feel as if you’re in all kinds of places - physically and mentally. I am sure some of you reading this can relate.
Even though my husband Rickey couldn’t give me a real-life birthday kiss, he sent a good dose of flower love my way. He’s always good for a surprise.
On top of it being my birthday, it was also our 2-year wedding anniversary. Talk about a special day.
As someone who is a pretty emotional person trying to mindfully go through life, reflecting upon everything is part of the daily routine. And so I find myself writing this as I am frantically trying to organize my thoughts, because I am in such a weird state of mind right now.
A Different But Same “Me”
I feel as if a different “me” shines through depending on my surroundings. Here at home, in Germany, I can be “mama’s girl” again, although I am, in fact, a mom myself this time around. When I am back in San Diego, I have to step out of this “just the daughter” role again, for my creative, mother and wife self require me to have it all under control. To “manage” everything.
But let’s be honest: I am just trying to wing it. Don’t we all?
Deep down inside, I know that none of those many “me”s define me. It’s the combination of all of them that make me me. I know where I am in life and what I want (most of the time). But stepping back in time, and thought, and memories allows for emotions to come to the surface that just let an image of myself pop up that I might not have seen in a while. It’s as if, sometimes, I see myself from a third person perspective. A different time and place, although in the present.
If this sounds funny to some of you, that’s ok. :) But I know that many of you feel the same.
Here’s to a new year, to the many “me”s that allow me to be myself, evolve, change, and reflect.
Got something to share? Please leave a comment. I’d like to hear your thoughts.
For motherhood reflections and moments sweeter than the creamer in my coffee: @coffeeandkarl
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