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Reflections: Feeling like a Foreigner in my Hometown

Have you ever experienced this sense of melancholy, which seems permeates your every being? This heaviness in your heart which seems never-ending? This bitter taste of confusion when things are no longer the way they used to be? It’s true what they say: life is change. It is the only constant. It’s inevitable and necessary for growth. I’m feeling like a foreigner in my hometown. How did that happen?

I left ten years ago. That’s what happened. Ten years ago I started my nomadic existence. Change is good though.

Life is change - Feeling like a Foreigner in my Hometown

Why does it have to be so painful at times though? The toughest lessons in life always are, aren’t they? The lessons which shape us. Apparently you always reach the same point over and over again until you have learnt from it. I’m tired of learning sometimes.

‘Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.’ – Eckhart Tolle

Life is change - Feeling like a Foreigner in my Hometown

Ah yes. Easier said than done. I don’t want to acknowledge it. I want to turn back time, if I could, and forget about what happened. Yes yes, I know. What I resist, persists…I get it. I did mention my fondness of Tolle’s writings in an earlier post. At the moment I can’t stand it. I have read his words, and the words of inspirational writers, for so many years that whenever I contemplate about something, an inner voice whispers some inspirational quote into my ear.

I’ve got my own personal pocket Buddha. Ready to enlighten me and annoy me deeply at other times.

Life is change - Feeling like a Foreigner in my Hometown

These are the times when I would give everything to just light up one more cigarette. Once a smoker = always a smoker. I would never start again though. As apparently I inherited a mutated gene from either of my parents which makes my blood clot more easily. The Dr. made me promise him never to smoke ever again after leaving his chambers. I don’t like the idea that I could drop down dead if I tried. I respect death. I don’t fear it. I just don’t want to tempt it.

Ah but just one drag…

Life is change - Feeling like a Foreigner in my Hometown

Being back in Switzerland is nice and deeply confusing at the same time. I observe how people interact with each other and the sound of this particular Swiss accent, from the region I grew up in,  sounds like a melody in my ears. I could listen to it all day long. It sounds so beautiful to me. I think the accent from our region is the most beautiful. There is no harshness to it. It’s much softer than accents of central Switzerland. People seem so happy here. You can see they lead a happy and content life. There is nothing for them to worry about. Life in Switzerland is easy.

You’ll never have to worry about much.

Life is change - Feeling like a Foreigner in my Hometown

Look what the ‘Where-to-be-born-index of 2013’ states. Yup. Switzerland is the best place to be born in. People are incredibly satisfied to live here. Although we did score terribly when it came to the ‘yawn index’. Boring equates to stability. Peace and democracy for the last 500 years – just saying. I guess a lot and lot and lot of people would give everything to be bored-out-of-their-heads if they could trade their life for this luxurious safety and stability you’ll only experience here.

I know I am lucky to have grown up here.

Life is change - Feeling like a Foreigner in my Hometown

As an Aries, I get bored very easily though. And I must admit, growing up here, I felt bored all the time. Especially on a Sunday when everything is shut. Everything is clean and orderly (which is great) but I can’t help to enjoy a bit of chaos. I do love walking through the streets of London and see the occasional plastic bag lying on the floor.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel very privileged to have grown up here! I just feel some personalities are better suited to ‘perfection’ than I am. I do enjoy being able to talk loudly on the phone in a packed bus without anyone staring at me as if I’m a peculiar species – only that I would never ever talk loudly on public transport – in fact, if someone calls me on public transport, I block the call (I’m Swiss….!) – but at least I could potentially maybe talk loudly on the phone, if I chose to.

Life is change - Feeling like a Foreigner in my Hometown

I love drinking cider for lunch without getting the ‘err-alcohol-problem, love? – look’. I love that bar staff drink on duty and have a good time dancing behind the counter (you’ll never ever be allowed to do this in Switzerland. Ever.).

I love how I could enter the Tube in my pyjamas and no one cares gives a fuck!

Life is change - Feeling like a Foreigner in my Hometown

Today, I was wearing a black dress with see-through black tights and blue sparkly flats – I first wanted to wear high-heels but thought I would be too over-dressed for Swiss standards. Well, my see-through tights attracted so much attention, I felt I was a zoo animal who escaped and casually wandered through the streets. Guys turned their heads and women gave me ‘the look’. Holy moses, that dress was so not flattering – it has the shape of a asymmetrical black garbage bag.

It must have been the tights…I guess.

Life is change - Feeling like a Foreigner in my Hometown

You see, the Brits are probably as conservative as the Swiss – only that the Brits embrace that we are all a bit whacky at the core. They know how to let their hair down. They know life can be shit sometimes, so once in a while, why not behave like absolute retards. They are so wonderfully contradictory in their polite whackiness. Polite during the day. Horribly embarrassing at night. Whereas I can’t say the same about the Swiss. When they think they are being whacky, they are still way too polite and boring. I bet this is probably how I come across to others – after all I lived here for 21 years.

It’ll take another 13 years to loosen up…

Life is change - Feeling like a Foreigner in my Hometown

Some people here also don’t embrace ‘difference’ easily. You are expected to behave in a certain way. And people do do behave. You would have a very hard time if you didn’t. You would want to conform. Rebellion and Change is frowned upon. Order and Progression – I think Brazil should pass their slogan on to us – fits like a glove!

I forgot how it is to live here and I feel like a foreigner and yet everything feels very familiar at the same time. Yet, this feeling of melancholy is present. Mainly because of a personal situation which occurred whilst being here. But also because it’s odd to be back home and feel like you don’t belong anymore.

Yet, I would know what to do with these feelings in London.

Life is change - Feeling like a Foreigner in my Hometown

I don’t know what to do with them here. When you’ve lived away for such a long time (I guess nine years could be considered a fairly long time), you don’t possess a road map of familiarity any longer. You are a guest in your home country. You’ve been away for too long to fit in entirely. You’ve made friends elsewhere. And you know what to do when you feel down. Plus there is always something to do in London.

I have changed. Life is change. It is the only constant.

heart-blueHave you lived outside of your home-country for too long, so that you don’t feel like you belong anymore? I would love to hear your thoughts below in the comment section.

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1 Comment

  • Ben

    01.11.2014 at 15:33 Reply

    I do like the bit about us Brits being so polite during the day but so happy to embarrass ourselves at night, something I have done many times as a nice reserved polite Brit!

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