After a year living abroad I’ve found myself in a funny place, I no longer feel at home here or there. I have rediscovered my need to travel and escape the everyday by spending hours looking at vacations and the occasional job listing throughout Europe. I’m once again lusting over foreign places and calculating how much it would take to move, would Kendall be able to come, where would we work, you know: the basics. It’s a restless feelings not knowing where you belong, which resonates as periods of not being able to sleep to not being able to stay awake at night.
Last week I had a customer call from North Carolina, no idea that I was American and had in fact lived in South Carolina for three years and when I told him as much he assumed I meant as an English exchange student. When I explained his mistake he simply laughed and said I must have lived in London for a long time because I didn’t sound American. That same week another guy told me how much he loved talking to me because of my accent. Knowing him fairly well I told him about the gentlemen from NC who said just the opposite and he agreed, it wasn’t an American accent he enjoyed but the mixing of languages, tones and expressions I have created.
I’m glad you called, first heard you talk it took me a second cause I couldn’t hear your drawl and that don’t sound like you. (Lee Brice; That Don’t Sound Like You)
Not being able to let anything go I quizzed my closest friends and they agreed. Maybe it’s because I’ve moved around and easily picked up bits and pieces but regardless it left me feeling empty. Not even my voice has a tendency for a particular country. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life it’s easy to forget that despite my best efforts to make London my home, at the end of the day I am still an expat with a funny accent, an unidentifiable accent.
This isn’t to say I’m not happy, I am incredibly happy but the things that make me happy no longer seemed tied to a specific city or country. I am probably the happiest I’ve ever been but I’m no longer happy simply because I’m living in London, I’m happy because of the people and the life I’ve built from the ground up. Whose to say I couldn’t do it all again in another country?