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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Lyrics Kind of Girl

Are you a music or lyrics kind of person? she asked, staring at me intently. Lyrics were important to her; I thought it was a blend for me as I couldn't stand listening to a song if the lyrics were good but the music was horrid. Then, a couple of evenings later, as I idly scrolled through Facebook, a line came to my head and refused to leave. I knew it was a song, I was pretty sure it was Phil Collins, but I couldn't remember the title. Heading to YouTube, I typed in the line. Take A Look Through My Eyes popped up. I pressed play and in an instant tears came even as I knew. I was a lyrics person.

The last few days have been a bit challenging. I was somewhat startled to notice feelings of depression sneaking over me since I couldn't rationalize a reason for them. I spent an entire day in my room with the curtains shut because I didn't want to face the world (thankfully it was a holiday). I found myself ready to cry for no reason, cancelling appointments, and saying no when asked to help instead of eagerly volunteering. I craved sweets and slept very little.

I wondered if what I was feeling was normal, so I posted my questions in a Facebook group of fellow MKs who understood the TCK experience.  The answers were quick to come, the majority of which were encouraging, extending understanding and empathy. There was a 2.5 or 3 month mark I'd apparently not been notified of which I was hitting right about now where the feelings would hit a downward turn. This was not unusual to my situation; it was part of the reintegration process for TCKs who returned to their host countries as adults.

I'll include their answers in a separate post but there was one answer that still makes me stop and think. One person thought my symptoms described a feeling of mourning. I was startled to consider that because I was convinced there was nothing to mourn. I was living in the country I'd mourned for 17 years and the one I'd left I'd been all too eager to put in my past. If I was mourning, who or what would I mourn?

Perhaps grief is deeper than we realize and more potent in its ability to touch wounded spaces in our hearts and evoke the memories once buried deep down. Perhaps I'm mourning familiarity of half my life left behind. Perhaps I'm mourning the loss of wholeness since a return to the land of my childhood has not restored a splintered family from a difficult divorce. Perhaps I'm mourning the integration of a reality that I'd lived and a fantasy I'd dreamed of for so long. Perhaps I'm mourning the fact that knowing now I could have left sooner cannot change the past.

Coming to a new country carries a Pandora's box of change. This is one crazy adventure I'm on which sometimes hits me in the face with its boldness. I came a somewhat timid woman but I cannot expect to thrive in timidity. I've had to learn to ask, to persist, to speak out, to be firm, even while learning to be a woman in the midst of it all.

I think what I'm mourning deepest of all is realizing all those years I resented living in one place because I was convinced that was reducing my chances to find a life partner is a false premise. It was my dream since I was a little girl to grow up and become a mommy one day. Now in my mid 30's, I see the possibility of that dream slowly evaporating in time's harsh glare.

So maybe this is why I grieve. It is not the country. The country is merely a stage for the emotions that would have unsettled my world whether I were here or there. This is a defining time in my life and I mourn that the definitions are being written without my consent.

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