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Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Expat Paradox


Paris

A few months after moving to London I read an article describing a paradoxical situation that befalls many expats, where their new country fails in comparison to home, yet home no longer fits snugly.

I knew instinctively I would befall a similar fate.

Living in London exposed me to an alternate reality. A reality that I fell in love with.

Yet I am afraid to stay. And afraid to return home.

Afraid to stay in London and be so very far away from my home... my family, my friends, life's familiarity. Hyper aware that I may lose the attention of the ones I love the most -- the ones who love me the most  -- sacrificed for the unfamiliar, yet alluring, love and attention of the unknown.

Afraid to return home to the same ordinary life I sought to shake loose. Afraid to fall back into the same grind, facing the same demons, as if the last year was just a fleeting day dream flickering off into the distance. 

How will I continue to use this experience to elevate my life if it led me right back to where I started? 

How do I face the possibility that I may fall short of the "elevated life" I seek?

The audience speaks: No guts, no glory.. You'll be fine.. You'll work it out, you always do.

As if through some miraculous alignment of the stars an aspirational life is possible without the sweat and vision required to align them.

Perhaps at this point I should acknowledge the Pygmalion effect on my life. Perhaps I should be thankful for the accountability that has brought to life this abstract form.

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

None the less, full disclosure: I realize the luxury of my anxiety, which to be clear, is a fleeting day dream flickering off into the distance. 

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