Something about being 'home' destroyed my inner compass. As if my identity no longer knew how to point North, instead was left spinning with nothing to center it.
Living abroad, don't we yearn for home? Crave those dishes and tastes in the throes of homesickness?
The sight of blueberries when I am overseas instantly conjures up tears and memories of blueberry picking close to the shores of the lake I was currently trying to find.
The smell of cedar reminding me of trips 'up north' or the smell of mulch in my mom's garden.
But when I do come 'home' I am disoriented.
As I sat there, on the side of the road sobbing, I knew that if I couldn't figure this out, I wouldn't find the beach. This situation was psychological, something that brought my true relationship with my hometown into a true light.
I never had a voice here. Conformity was the key to survive, growing up in this part of Michigan. I felt the pressures of society and family, and my voice was stifled. I didn't know that until I left. How I found my voice living abroad.
People back 'home' say I have changed. I disagree. I think moving abroad let my voice out. My character was always there, it had just been stifled. Once the binding ties of my hometown were shaken off, I was free to fly.
And fly I did.