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The impossible return

These past few weeks, I have noticed a growing sense of accomplishment for successfully building a comfortable life in a brand new country, yet an unshakable feeling of uncertainty and nostalgia for a home I have left behind.

As we witness horrific natural disasters and unbearable economic crisis shake our world, I find myself feeling more powerless than ever. But I know that creative solutions and brilliant ideas come out of the most difficult situations, in the most challenging environments.

Because of the literal and metaphorical disconnect with the rest of the world, I’ve been feeling utterly alone in my journey. But I continue to keep my head up high. I think there are more of us than I realize.

So here is to maintaining “normalcy” and documenting the highs and lows of everyday life:

“The Greek word for ‘return’ is ‘nostos.’ ‘Algos’ means ‘suffering.’ So nostalgia is the suffering caused by an unappeased yearning to return. To express that fundamental notion most Europeans can utilise a word derived from the Greek (‘nostalgia, nostalgie’) as well as other words with roots in their national languages: ‘anoranza,’ say the Spaniards; ‘saudade,’ say the Portuguese. In each language these words have a different semantic nuance. Often they mean only the sadness caused by the impossibility of returning to one’s country: a longing for country, for home.” – From Milan Kundera’s “Unbearable Lightness of Being”

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Eileen
    April 8, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Oh my, thank you for this entry. I truly mean it.

    ” I have noticed a growing sense of accomplishment for successfully building a comfortable life in a brand new country, yet an unshakable feeling of uncertainty and nostalgia for a home I have left behind.”

    This. I can relate.

    “Because of the literal and metaphorical disconnect with the rest of the world, I’ve been feeling utterly alone in my journey. But I continue to keep my head up high. I think there are more of us than I realize.”

    Again, thank you. I am so sorry if I sound pretentious and condescending, but I feel so much better now. Today, the kind of worry and fear just totally overwhelmed me. Maybe I will be okay.

    I’ve been reading your blog for the longest time now. The way you document your journey inspires me to document mine. Gah, I am a dork so I will shut up.

  • Reply
    mary claire
    April 17, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Hey, Sewon! I hope the visitor you had from home made it feel not so far away… And meanwhile you’ve got a trail of friends around the globe by now, so estás en tu casa in a lot of places :)

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