Today my parents told me they were going to the hometown to stay there for two weeks. I immediately got the blues while remembering just how much I miss that place, the house we have, the sea, and the incredible balcony with the view of the mountains looming above the bay. Then I imagined my grandmother who still lives there all alone, but happy and in perfect control of the surroundings. Never does she complain of the old age and the ailments which follow it like a shadow because she is independent, strong, she knows how to work, how to be helpful, and how to be the pillar of the family. This is something I always looked up to and the resilience she and my parents show is something to be cherished and appreciated.
Yes, my hometown breathes the memories and spits them out into my mind whenever I think of its name, thus making my life slightly difficult at the moment. I have yet to build a connection to the New Place and, while that is still in the process, my wishes are oriented toward an Old Place which is far far away.
However, when the sadness overwhelmed me today I decided to stop for a moment and think as I wondered why exactly do I feel this way. Is it more because I truly miss my old life or is it because I still don’t have a new one settled in its place? Do I miss Croatia because I find it more beautiful or do I miss it because I think Canada doesn’t have what it takes?
Now, this may seem like an easy dilemma, especially due to the fact we have been here for only three months, but an answer is not as simple. There are moments when I am convinced that sadness follows me because I find Croatia to be better, and then comes a moment when I see a message bright as a day-no, Croatia is not better, it is just that Canada hasn’t gotten to you, yet. I don’t have a job here, my friends are now faces on a computer screen, and houses and people are so different. It takes a lot of time to get accustomed, to embrace the differences, not to mention a huge amount of emotional strength to keep the head above the water. Therefore, I realized today I was focused on the premise that Croatia is better because that option is easier for me, rather than to accept the possibility I have not yet succeeded here.
One may say it is certainly too soon to demand the good assimilation (as I call it) at this particular moment, that it is simply too early. The good assimilation means you did find something positive in the new environment, whether that’s people, a job, or something else, and it offers a hug of support to a stranger stranded in a far land. But, at this point, it is not too early to seek this goal because the pain of loss and change can be overwhelming sometimes.
To be honest, now I am balancing toward the first option, one where I think Croatia is better. I am angry, scared, and sad that I have absolutely no support outside the household (my husband does help a lot), but the discovery I made today, however it may seem obvious, did help me to understand my fear better. When a person puts a face to fear or when it becomes clearer that a lump made of negativity and blackness, that is a moment one gets a better chance to win, a better chance to become more positive than the day before. This is what I will strive for now, to go slowly step by step in order to find beauty in my surroundings. I hope there is a chance I will miss my sea and my mountain less than I did the day before.