As time goes by with the departure day getting closer each day, I have this strange feeling about going home. In fact, this is not the first time that I have such a sentiment. This kind of feeling often comes to me when I am in transition. Whenever I pass by a high ground where I can see the flickering lights from the houses in the valley down below, all those little speckles of light always give me a sense of homecoming and then create this urgency to rush home. The unsettled emotions always urge me to step on the gas paddle to speed up. The same feeling would also come to me whenever I see the same city lights from the sky above in an airplane. (That is why I don’t like to arrive at night.)
As the feeling of homecoming is getting stronger each day, another kind of emotion has unexpectedly surfaced. Excitement? Not really. I have passed that age that I would get excited easily. I actually have mixed emotions with hesitation and uncertainty. I used to get so excited whenever I was ready to travel back home. Last few times when I visited Taiwan, I started to feel more like a visitor than a member in my own family. As family members aged one by one, the feelings of home started to detach. Last time when I visited was for my dear grandmother’s funeral, I stayed only ten days. During those ten days, I actually missed my work and my home here in Canada.
I have become an “international drifter” who constantly wants to cling on to the sense of family, root and heritage. The truth is I no longer belong to anywhere. When I am here in Canada, I miss all my family in Taiwan. However, the dynamic of the family has changed and now I am just an occasional visitor. People here asked me where I came from, and people there asked me the same question. I came from nowhere and I am the one in transition. When I was in Taiwan, I wanted to leave. When I am in Canada, I want to go home to Taiwan. I am an international drifter who lives this life of drifting from place to place. Nothing is certain in life for me other than the love and care from the people I love dearly.
The other day when I brought it up to my friend Flora who came from El Salvador about my mixed feelings towards going home, she mentioned that she felt exactly the same way when she visited El Salvador a few years back. It's a sense of detachment and disconnection with things and people back home. I think it comes down to the psyche of immigrants; we constantly want to build a home in the new country but continue to identify with the old one. Now, suddenly, we just realize that the old one is no longer the same one we used to identify with. People moved and things changed. (Gosh, whenever I am reading people’s blogs, sometimes I don’t even understand the modern lingos they used.) We have changed. I have changed.
Where is home? I guess, wherever it may be, home is where we make it with the people we love.