Maybe I am alone in this, but I think there is something of an expat’s curse, a curse that never allows one to truly feel at home. Now, a year since our return to NYC, I am feeling the feeling this feeling that has been forever creeping up on me since the first time I lived abroad. It is a feeling of restlessness combined with an inability to appreciate the present. It is a feeling that makes me want to be abroad with my family, in our almost surreal cocoon of intimate inability to connect with the natives. Now that we are back in NYC some things are really wonderful. I meet other young mothers my age that live in the neighborhood (which is what I was missing so much in Italy). BUT, I have come to the realization that part of having children and being a mother is letting go of some need for intimate friendship. Yeah, I meet other young families in my Brooklyn neighborhood, but my great friends are the same ones I had before I was a mother.
So now that I am expecting again (yep, another little boy due to arrive in April), my familial connections seem more important than ever, but I also realize that I never want to lose my identity and allure as a friend (sounds a bit sad, I know). Sometimes I notice myself isolating myself even in NYC as if I were an expat abroad, shy to interact with the locals. It is as if I have trained myself to be an outsider in some ways. Have I spent one too many days finishing imaginary conversations in my head, convos that in reality were short and plagued with my novice Italian speaker’s inability to convey complexity and spontaneity??
I love being back in Brooklyn and I become more comfortable in my own skin as an adult and a mother everyday. Perhaps this blog entry is rambling, but sometimes I just need to vent . I think everyone has days of feeling like the outsider. I just need to remember that I am not in Italy any more. Is that so hard??