I want out. I need to go. I don’t belong here.
It’s not just the corruption. It’s not just the dumbfucks and the butthurts and the pollution and the prevailing culture of hypocrisy, mediocrity, and bore. You’ll find those anywhere. It’s not because I’m going through a quarter-life crisis right now and listening to Patrick Watson (though the feeling has certainly intensified as a result).
It’s because I don’t belong here–I’ve never belonged here, even as a young boy. Perhaps it’s my Western heritage talking or perhaps it’s mostly me, I’m not sure. But, it’s the recurring sadness, the feeling of being the oddball, being alone, the feeling of not “belonging” that gets to me … deep, deep within me. It’s the feeling of helplessness, being restless, the feeling of not being appreciated (or meaningless appreciation if appreciated at all), and the feeling that I’ll never get anywhere if I stay.
This place feels like exile and I’m just waiting for the right time to return somewhere else. It’s like my brain isn’t synced to this place. I just want to go home. I mean, I am home. I love the feeling of physically staying here in our house with my family, but that feeling withers away when I walk out through the door. It feels like I’m in a foreign country outside. I need to feel at home even when I’m on the bus, at work, or at a café. (Don’t we all?)
My friends ask me if I could find it in my heart to be happy here. I am happy. I’m always generally happy and thankful. I’m happy to be with my family. No offence, but at least I’m not in Afghanistan or North Korea. I don’t have to deal with the Taliban or dictators. I’m actually in a pretty good place. My rights are protected; people can’t stone me for homosexuality or polyamory. Life is generally cheap and I could get a job with my English anytime.
But, the truth is, I could be a lot happier. I could better chase my dreams somewhere else. I actually could live my dreams somewhere else. I just don’t see that happening here. I never did.
What do I really want? Well, I want foliage; red, orange, and amber. I want to pick apples. I want to make apple pie from the apples I pick. I want to stomp on grapes. I want to walk under an oak tree. I want to climb an oak tree. I want to walk through fields of lavender. I want to pick and smell the lavender. I want a white Christmas and make a real wreath. I want to put up holiday decorations that actually mean something. I want to bake bread. I want to make cheese. I want to dance. I want to dance with actual people who know that Irish hardshoe isn’t tap dancing. I want to meet other Pagans, serious ones. I want to teach Linguistics or Ancient History in a university where people take learning seriously–where flipping through history books is their passion–and not just a place to get a degree and work an 8-hour job, marry, have kids, dream of buying a car, dream of buying a house, and retire at 60 (possibly with neither car nor house). I don’t want that, but that’s exactly what people expect you to aim for here. Not that I care what other people think … My family supports me and that’s all that matters, but there’s so few of us here and so many of them out there.
I want people who have burning passions and can fight for them. I want fierceness in conviction not a shrug. I want to pick apples, bake bread, and be a professor. You could never do that here. If I wanted to live as a farmer, I’d have to give up blogging because there’s no way I can make pay Internet bills from digging up earth. Farmers are practically serfs here and teachers don’t get a lot of credit, either.
I’m a brilliant young man, modesty aside, and full of hope and love for the world and her gods. I need a place that can see and appreciate that–truly appreciate how valuable a person who knows how to map human migration patterns with his eyes closed, write in 10 different writing systems, and read in 24 accents. I need a country that can take me in, foster my unique talents, and not just send me off to another country to be someone else’s serf.
Some people say I’ve idealised certain countries because of this. Well, at least, I can do that and not lie to myself, not by much. My father knew all this. He wanted to get us all out, too. I was so excited when he told me. We were all so excited … That didn’t happen, needless to say, but I think it’s about time I start working on that again.
Some people might say I shouldn’t ask what my country can do for me blah-blah what I can do for my country blah-blah. I am doing a good job at that, I think. I’m a very good citizen; I pay taxes, I don’t break any laws, I use the pedestrian crossing 99% of the time, I don’t kick stray animals in the face, I treat people fairly, I don’t treat the pavements as my personal urinal or bin, I involve myself in national issues when I have to, and I try not to add up to the mess. What does this country do? Steal my money, so stinking politicians can have holidays abroad and spoil their brats. They can’t even give you a decent education without taking away your life savings.
I could never dream of leaving my family behind, so I stay until I can take them with me. That and because I don’t exactly have enough cash for a plane ticket right now.
I’ve always belonged to my family. Home is where they are and home is where I’ll stay. I just hope I get to take us somewhere else where home extends to the rest of the country.
Gods help me.