An expat is neither here nor there, not completely. An expat has their heart in two places. An expat has passports updated, ready.
An expat’s fomo is just another part of the gig.
United States of America:
I don’t know if it’s an apology I owe. It’s an acknowledgment, at least.
Over the last five years or so, I started feeling really, significantly disconnected from America. I started giving up. The feeling I’d never move back there by choice developed into more than a feeling; eventually a ‘known’.
I felt if I ever moved back, I’d be relocating to a new unfamiliar country. I mean this on a personal level. I came to feel I didn’t fit in the landscape. The culture.
I had fallen way out of love, way out of like, with my country, my people, my culture. Not a government thing – an everything thing. The whole picture. The inaction. The action. The priorities. The sensitivities. The personalities. The close mindedness.
I had cared so much but then I just couldn’t invest any more care.
And then this happened. A year and a half ago, everyone started talking about 2016. And it was ridiculous and I laughed. And I still couldn’t make the feeling come back. I stood by and watched. Until I started watching closer, until I started thinking again, until I started caring again. Until I realized I have something to say and for me, there’s still a place in the conversation.
And I didn’t have to ever want to move back to know that I do care and always will. Being away is what keeps me with you. Being away helps me be the best version of a patriotic citizen I can be. It’s an acknowledgment of the kind of relationship we have. It’s an odd but honest one.
Being away keeps me American.
For too long I’ve used the American elections as an excuse to ignore you. The fact is, 2015 was so devastating and I just couldn’t pour anything else into this. Ever since, I’ve been angry, and ‘busy’ was a fine excuse.
But what if I was angry and busy, but for you, and not at you? I came here to be counted, I came here to cast my lot. There’s value in that and I will find it again. I will uncover it again.
I always wanted to come back around to political activism. This place is a fucking disappointment. It’s too painful to get involved but I don’t want to look back and know I didn’t do enough to show my kids what could be if we only work towards it.
America taught me that about my adopted homeland. After everything there in the past year and a half, I still care. I care about a place where my heart doesn’t beat.
Surely it is time to pivot back to the here and now. To where my heart beats in real-time. To where I chose to live. To where I’ve built a home. To where I cast my lot.
So what’s next?