After what feels like an age I am back to writing – and I’m back in Freiburg. I had a pretty busy summer and found myself travelling a lot, studying a bit, meeting friends and family and writing in between…but somehow I never got around to posting much. The result being a lot of blog topics more or less written about various summer thoughts and experiences – which I intend to incorporate these next couple of weeks along with what comes up as I once again begin a new semester in good old Germany! Some of my friends already half jokingly asked me how long I intend to stay – and to be honest I am not sure! But after a year abroad in Madrid and a summer moving between Germany, Pakistan and Spain I am glad to “settle down” a bit in my shared flat in Freiburg and excited to begin my classes here!
But you know when you’re reading a good book and get interrupted for a while you just slip a bookmark between the pages and can later pick up where you left off…
Well somehow coming back to a place you left isn’t like that. As a TCK (Third Culture Kid – someone who spent a significant part of their life in a host culture different from their parent’s culture and ends up developing their own “third” culture) I have often realised that a mobile and intercultural lifestyle has its effects and that as you move around the world, you change – and so do the places and people you leave behind and maybe come back to. I changed a lot during my year in Madrid! I fell in love with a whole new culture, language, life-style and people and that had a lot of influence on me, on my personality and interests. I now order tortilla española in a German café and insist on bread to accompany it! I go crazy whenever I meet people that speak Spanish – and completely forgetting that they speak perfect German after many years away from their “home” I overwhelm them with an overly enthusiastic hardly intelligible Spanish monologue expressing my delight in making their acquaintance! I think back nostalgically remembering “my University” in Madrid and idealise my classes and professors and fondly recall reading Don Quijote on the train and frantically trying to finish it before the final exam…I think of the trouble I had adapting to 10pm dinners and laugh at myself for dining at similar hours now…trying to be “Spanish” – whatever that means!
The truth is though, that Freiburg has changed too. And so have my friends. Some have finished their studies by now and are no longer here. Others have moved around within Freiburg or gotten married or gone through their own experiences, difficulties, adventures that have changed them, shaped them.
The first week back I found myself slightly impatient. Impatient to “arrive” and to feel at home again. Impatient for a daily routine and to see all my friends and have things be “normal”. But I need to be patient. Patient with myself, with those around me and circumstances. Because what is “normal” when time does not stand still and change is constant? Instead of looking back at what was, I need to incorporate my “new” self into a “new” Freiburg and while I may miss some of what was, I should not let that hinder me from enjoying what is! Because every day is such a gift from God full of a million blessings and with potential to surprise you for the best! Like yesterday – where a spontaneous trip to get a Kebab with my flatmates ended up with Tango music and dancing around in our neighbour’s living room…lots of laughter to end a lovely day.
Feel free to comment or to share your thoughts on “returning home”!
And have a lovely day! =D