During your time abroad and that can be a long or short time away, you claim your nationality at every chance, Football matches, traditional songs, stories of your country and how great it is and how green it is. How brilliant the people are, how great the food is, the beer and the whiskey. Your proud of you heritage and people know about it.
So,what happens when you come home ? You’ve been living overseas for a long time and you decide it’s time. Time to go home. Only you discover, that the place is not the same. Your memory of home is not the same as the reality. You thought you’d fit right back in …..it’s your own country after all, your friends, your family are all there, why wouldn’t you just slip back into things?? But the stark reality hits you slowly, you brush off the ”odd” feeling as getting used to things. You and everyone else tells you to ” give yourself a chance” , everything is different, the weather, the food , the way of life. You realize that you only connect with people in the past tense.
People have moved on, things have changed, the health system, you can’t understand. How can the country have such a crap system with such a small population, while huge countries have a great system and it works. Why don’t the government learn from them? The job situation, is unbelievable. You have never been out of work before, so you have to get in on the system , but you find you have to jump through hoops to even prove you are who you say you are. The unemployment system doesn’t entice people to get a job. Help with housing, fuel, medical cards, make it easy for the ordinary ”joe soap” who would be on an average wage to be better off staying at home. But what if you want to work? want to contribute? Where are all the jobs that people told you were available? The country is supposed to be on the up!!!!
While you were away in foreign places doing your own thing, everyone at home was doing exactly the same!!! So, you find yourself wondering why did you come back?? Did you get it all wrong, are your reasons for coming home all under some mad illusion? After the initial welcome home greetings and inquiries as to whether you are ”home for good” are past, you find people get tired listening to what things are like elsewhere. Try as you might , it is hard to catch up on years of what’s happened and who’s who, who died , who got married, who divorced, who has kids, the list is endless. What happened to buildings, shops, businesses. Even the bus stop has changed. On your short holidays home how did you never notice these changes till now?? Where once you knew everyone and everywhere , you are now the foreigner in your own country!!!
Did you feel this odd when you were trying to settle in the foreign country. Probably not, as everything was new to you. There was an element of excitement, the unknown and a certain amount of grit and determination to show the folks back home that you can succeed and it was worthwhile emigrating. So, what happens when you come home, where does the excitement go?, where does the determination to succeed go? do you expect too much on your return? What once was the ”norm” ie meeting up with the crowd for a few scoops in the local pub has changed to ”who’s available to go out”. There are new wives/husbands, new babies, jobs in the city , no time, ”have to ask what the other half wants to do” The places you went years before, are a great laugh when reminiscing and a great memory for you and your friends, but that’s all it is, a memory. You can’t live or survive on the past , no matter how great, after all, if they were so great why did you go away?? On the flip side of that , if it was so good abroad why did you come home? Caught between a rock and a hard place!!. Maybe when you get a job, maybe when you have settled in, maybe when you realise that home is definitely where you hang your hat and where the heart is. You have to decide where your heart is and it doesn’t necessarily mean the place you were born in.