It's funny, the longer I stay over here, the scarier and more overwhelming the prospect of "going home" becomes. I don't know how long I would have to be over here before it felt more like home than...home, but I am guessing maybe never. Home is where your family are. And lovely though he is, my boyfriend doesn't quite qualify as family yet.
I have been over here for four years now - one more year and I qualify for residency. Scary and confusing: although I can see the benefits of becoming a resident (a UK passport would be SO sweet), it seems like a huge commitment to a country I never planned to live in for this long.
The truth is, I had hoped to return home mid-this year. Unfortunately, my boyfriend's father passed away unexpectedly last November, so our long-term plans have been shelved for the moment. I really don't know when I will be going home, which is kind of sad.
Life here still holds that dream-like quality which any expatriate will know about, where it feels like your real life has been suspended, and you are floating in space (like Ripley in Alien). Even though your body still functions - you go to work, cook meals and go to bed just like always - part of your heart remains in limbo, waiting for the return home and to your "real" life. I wish I could commit wholeheartedly to a new life here, which would make everything that much simpler, but I think I will always feel that pull towards home, to my parents and brothers.
Then again, I think it is part of my make up to feel a constant, underlying sense of yearning for some indefinable thing or state.
Maybe I have a restless soul. Or maybe this is just part of the human condition, part of what drives us to live, work, form relationships, procreate. Would I feel this way if I grew up in a remote village with no education or knowledge of the wider world? Who knows. In the meantime, in a less cerebral world, Spring has woken, ever so gently, and the evening light is taking on the most delicate soft pink hue. It is easy to feel a bit more hopeful when your walk home is accompanied by nodding daffodils and snowdrops, lit by this heavenly glow.