Saturday, November 8, 2008

A heart divided...

Well, dear readers...its like this...after 22 years Im home. Back in the good ole U S of A...back on familiar territory and taking a good look around me and seeing whats up...whats different...and thinking about what Ive gained...and more importantly...what Ive left behind....and my heart is divided.

The last few days have been a whirlwind of packing...throwing things out...making arrangements for other things...saying goodbyes...or not (Im not too sociable remember) and trying not to think about how choices made means consequences suffered. While Im am happy to be home...a very big piece of my heart remains back in the land of sand and camels...of hijabs and beards...of gawa and kobuz. While I may not miss the land itself...I do miss the friends I made...the people I have loved and the three people that have kept a piece of my heart firmly in their grips...you know who you are.

Long time expats will tell you that going home after years abroad can be as much of a culture shock as arriving fresh faced and expectant on foreign shores...the kicker here is that I have been a foreigner for 22 years...longer than I was actually in America..so essentially I still feel like the foreigner...a little uncomfortable...a little hesitant...not exactly sure what to expect. Rather a surreal feeling to be home but not "feel" home. I hope it comes in time.

The somewhat different aspect to this whole thing is that previously evertime I have come back to visit...or even when we stayed almost two years...I had the ex to make the whole experience painful and miserable...in other words...he was determined to make me act like a a foreigner...and Arab while in my own country in his attempts to keep me Muslim like (lets not forget he did not hold himself to those same standards)...so essentially I was an American in America living like a foreigner...does that make sense? This is the first time since I left home April 11 1987 for an unknown future in an unknown land...that I will be able to live in America...experience America...as myself...at the tender age of 40. Like I said ....surreal.

I will keep you posted wth my progress...and tell you about my trip over in my next post...some interesting things to remember.

The only question now is...will this momentus life change be worth it in the end...or will I eventually arrive at the conclusion that my dreams of coming home should have remained just that...dreams...and the life I was living in Bahrain wasnt as bad as I always felt it to be...we shall see....hmmmm?

19 comments:

The Queen said...

OMG You're kidding! I can't wait to hear all that you've decided.
Living as a foreigner in your own land? What a concept. LOL, no, NOT funny!

I bet you are going to be just fine.

WELCOME HOME!

Terri's Space said...

Hello Coolred...Welcome back to the states!! I've only read a few of your posts, however I get the impression that your story is interesting...and a wee bit sad (or may be a lot).

Good luck on your transition...no matter what's said about the good ol USofA...I'm glad I got it as a back up (meaning I can always come home to it) and I feel lucky I was born in the USA.

Welcome Back!!

Suroor said...

I know what you are talking about. I want to go back home and when I go on holiday everything seems so alien.

I wish you the best of luck and may this return to your home be the best decision, amen.

Sous said...

:) I am so happy for you :)! Couldn't help but shedding at tear when I read this post. I wish you all the best back home. I know exactly how hard it is to come back after you been abroad but in time you will get used to it. I am really so happy for and hope you can use the years that you had down here for something creative and positive even if you had a really tough time. I will pray for your happiness.

Um Naief said...

very exciting... for many reasons.

i think you'll start feeling your feet and, soon enough, you'll be happy about your decision. i can imagine how it must feel, especially after being gone for so long.

they say life starts at 40... :)

having someone so negative in your life can make a big difference when it comes to happiness. having that person out of your life and beginning again, so to speak, is a big step. congratulations to you. i hope you find more happiness than you imagined possible.

Ordinary Housewife said...

Welcome home, Cool Red!

maryanndipity said...

WOW!...WOW! You are are a very, very brave and strong woman. I admire you for that. What a scary move. You have a good head on your shoulders and I am sure that you will do fine. InshaAllah all of your children are with you now. May Allah keep you and your children safe. I will remember you in my duas. Hugs to you.

always in the kitchen said...

What a journey!Hope you find your "sea legs" quickly,and yes life does begin at 40!

Susanne said...

Welcome home! May your transition be smooth as you get readjusted to living in your country. Eager to hear the stories. God bless!

Gardens of Sand said...

Best of luck Cool Red or as we say in Arabic, bilwafeeq (with God's fortune??). Inshallah everything will go well for you and your family.

coolred38 said...

Thanks everyone for the welcome homes. I have discovered that the net connection here is not always so good...so Ive barely been on this week...but its been a busy week for sure. Had our first awesome thunderstorm today...sure did miss those. Will be posting more soon...so do come back.

Anonymous said...

Inshallah you will settle down in your home land sooner than you think.May He make it smooth and easy for you.Ameen.
lat

Sabra said...

Well, Coolred38, this wasn't what I expected when I pulled your site up today. That you are home I am sure is bittersweet. That day will come for me, as well. There is much to be missed from this side of the world. And, vice versa, when I get back here after a visit to the States... Will, like everyone else, anxiously await your next post about your trip home.

Aafke said...

Coolred you're in America? Do you have all your children with you now?

I think you will do fine, from reading your thoughts on the matter it is clear you have no wishy-washy expectations, but are fully open to the new and different life you are entering on.
You are so couragious! You are starting out for the third time! And i'm sure third time lucky!
You are clever and strong, you will make new friends, stay in contact with the old ones, and will do allright wherever you are.

Anonymous said...

Dear Coolred,
I am new to all this blogging and have never left a comment before but I came across your blog via some other middle eastern blogs I read and have been touched by your life. I hope your return to America will be the begining of a new and very happy chapter in your life. I'm sure all your readers look forward to hearing about your
progress.

Susie of Arabia said...

WELCOME HOME, Cool Red!
I wish you peace and happiness always.

marahm said...

The US has changed so much, even since I've been home for ten years, now. You may always miss the Middle East, as I do, because it really does become home, too. Once a person evolves bi-culturally and bi-lingually, there is no total satisfaction in either place. You'll miss whichever place you've just left.

Sigh...

However! However... one never knows the gifts and happiness that await in one's future!

Welcome home!

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