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?