I belong with them, wherever they are
Sunday, Jan. 01, 2023 - 10:02 pm.

Hello, happy New Year!

I'm back in my, say, adoptive home country. I flew in yesterday morning, after a rough, nearly 24-hour trip. But it was worth it!

I had a lovely Christmas with my family, exactly what I'd hoped for (and didn't think would come to be). We had a Christmas dinner and a gift exchange. My dad was in a happy mood, which I didn't think he'd be in. My mom was happy, too. There were also my sister, my Brother and Sister-in-law #3, and my Nephew and his girlfriend with her dog dressed as Santa. It may not sound like much but it was the world to me.

I returned at around 10 pm to the hotel, because my parents go to bed early, and I got to watch the midnight fireworks from my window. I'm aware of all the negative implications of fireworks and I oppose to them, but since they were already exploding in the sky in spite of my principles, I just enjoyed the show.

The next week, this past week, was also very busy for me. Hung out with my friend Virginia, hung out a lot more with Helen (bless her for all she does for me), saw my family or some of its members every day and our interactions always involved delicious food. Brother #2 and his family arrived on Tuesday. I didn't see much of my brother except for coffee and/or dinner time, but I was also very happy to see him. His two kids barely know me, and vice versa, but they were still very nice.

On Thursday, my last day before leaving, I got deeply emotional. I didn't want to leave my family behind. Again. I have a biting survivor's guilt, knowing my sister and Brother #3 live in a hostile place and my sister carries most of my parents' old age needs. I was heartbroken seeing my parents suffer due to their illnessess, and my mom coping with them as much as she can; coping is not my dad's strong suit. I was in a bit of anguish knowing how Brother #2 gets little to no rest in his life, as he runs his medical practice and raises his kids (his wife seems to sort of just be around). He told us he fell asleep at a red light a few weeks ago.

I have it pretty good here. I seem to have few Big Demands, as my ageing parents live in another country (Andrew's parents live in another town) and we don't have children. The latter may change this year, and I get a little scared about that. But I always remember that it's my parents and four siblings (Brother #1 couldn't travel for the holidays) who have very much paved the way in many different ways so I can live this life I have.

Maybe I'll have to look after my ageing siblings as I raise my child(ren), like a proper middle-age person in a Developmental Psychology handbook. My siblings fulfilled parental roles with me so they may fill in for that life demand, but I'm fine with that. My family give me a lot, ask nothing of me and I don't know how to give back.

They seem content enough with me visiting, so I've been trying to do that. I flew home three times in 2022. This year travelling looks a bit more difficult, with us saving for the house we want to buy and increasing academic commitments, but I plan on going at some point this year. It makes everyone happy, and it makes me happy to see my family and friends. And as twisted as that god-forsaken place is, it is -or it once was- my home.

Side note, I "go home" to this parallel reality in which I see armed soldiers arresting random people on the street from a car window.

Nevertheless, it's also good to be back with the others members of my family: Andrew and the cats. This is also my home. Both over there and over here I'm plagued with a sense of not-fully-belonging-but-yeah-sure. The real sense of belonging comes from my people, from my parents and siblings, from Andrew. I belong with them, wherever they are. That is very comforting for me.

I'm glad tomorrow's a holiday because I'm still not fully ready to go back to work. I'm a bit excited but I still have to put my life in order. All in all, I barely worked these two weeks. Which: good for me! But I also have to reconnect with all I was doing before I left.

I'm not big on looking back on the past 365 days, nor am I used to making New Year Resolutions. I suppose I had a good year, with ups and downs, with wins and massive losses (i.e., my boss and colleague M, the possibility to have a kid for the time being). But overall, I'm pretty satisfied with and grateful for my life.

And something close to a resolution is that I'd like to read and create more this year. I mean, read more, write more, draw more. Helen is getting my novel translated so we can publish it in English late this year or next one. I want to go back to engaging more on this part of my life that brings me so much joy.

I hope this year is kind to you. Happy 2023.

prev / next