Sometimes it does feel like this picture*
that we are looking from the outside in…
‘My Home is where My Heart is.’ Tis for me, for after living in many countries and cultures, it really has been the only way to survive to an extent. Lapland is the country and place where I always say that I am from, more so than from Finland, actually.
It is easy-peasy to move from A to B geographically ‘in body’ with our suitcases of clothes and whatnot, but it takes a long long time for our mind, attitude, emotions, thinking and heart to follow!! It applies to within one’s own land as well moving from one part of the land to another, of course.
Tis my own experience moving from country to country and culture to culture, and also moving from Lapland where I was born and where I grew up to other parts of Finland; so I have learned to give myself time, space and place to adjust in peace to the new or as is now the case, back to the ‘old’ for as you know, I am back in Finland presently – for how long do not know, yet.
It all takes its time. Period.
Happiest, as in the most fulfilled personally, is the immigrant/emigrant who has learned to take the best of both – or all as the case may be – countries and cultures one left and combine them with the new, so that this becomes such an added richness into one’s life in every way possible which is priceless, methinks.
It is perfectly normal and ‘within the norm’ to feel like the way you do at present over there as an alien in an alien land.
To be ‘processed’ into the new and to personally process the new strange land: its language, its culture, its landscape, its people, its media, its sense of humour, et cetera; Yes, it is a process and rather painful at times, I think.
BUT SO MUCH WORTH IT!
The crux of the matter will be again when and if you change back to where you came from or to another culture and country – the same process will be repeated… Not a bad thing at all, at all, for it makes us take stock of our own values, life & living and ‘the very being of our person’ that is you and that is me.
Now when I am back here in Finland – well – it has not been easy to settle back in here. The hardest thing to me is the weather. It being more on the freezer style than anything else! But I am determined to make the best of this situation, this clime, and all the things that it is now to a strength. It is not Finland per se that makes it difficult to settle in; it is life. Life, in every country and culture has things that take their time to get into the gear, to get used to and to be familiar.
That is why I am patient, I am giving myself time to adjust, to ingest all that is here and now. It is the only way, I have learned. It can take years to become somewhat ‘in’ in the things in the new culture and life. It is not usually an instant happening; though, one can feel that instance nearly immediately arriving in some place. That is the way I felt in Israel, I had absolutely no culture shock, no feeling of being an alien, not a thing. I just jumped in and ‘BINGO’ – I was at home!
It is one’s own attitude to everything – even to oneself that matters.
Tis for now. Rii xx
You know what the greatest shock was in Ireland for me and the next one to it?!
That it was SOOO C-O-L-D in Ireland INSIDE the houses and that the coffee was soooo BAD! Real bad as in AWFUL then when I arrived there in 1980! Now it has improved.
* The photo is by me taken in Ireland summer 2006.