Saturday, December 07, 2013

Going Home?

Soon after we were asked if we would go to the Philippines for 2 months a friend asked if I was excited to go. “Well, of course I want to go home, but it isn’t like it will all be easy,” I responded.

She asked if it was really home, more than Canada. After all, we’ve lived in Canada for over a year this time around, we have family here, and we have a lot of history here. I wasn’t sure what to reply. In fact, my choice of words surprised me as much as it did her. Since then I’ve thought a bit about it... what made me say that? 

Quite honestly, I’m not quite sure. Maybe it’s simply the sense that as a third culture kid who’s raising third culture kids, the next place is as likely to be home as this one. Maybe it’s the sense of going back to something familiar. Maybe it’s the friendships we have there. 

The next question was if life is easier there. Easy? Not at all-- I dislike being without electricity and water as much as you do. The extreme heat often wears me out. Nothing is done quickly, which rubs my production-oriented side crazy. Nothing is as predictable as things are in Canada, except the weather which is always hot. And predictable translates to secure in many ways. But can I personally function better in the Philippines than in Canada? Maybe in some ways I know better what’s expected, I’ve learned the parameters of a flight program better than the expectations of home assignment or Garry working remotely on aviation safety. 

Really, though, the more I think about it, I think it’s the freedom of knowing that I am expected to be an outsider, a foreigner who is prone to make mistakes. And at some level that role feels familiar. Which makes me laugh simply because among my Canadian friends I am often considered as much an outsider, a foreigner, as I’ve ever been anywhere. So, in the end.... Yes, I am going home, but I’m also leaving home. It’s the joy and the sorrow of our lives.

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