Friday, September 5, 2014
So how did I answer my fellow tourist? I took a deep breath and told him I lived in Belgium. He looked at me knowingly and asked if I was military. When I nodded in agreement he quickly added that he was retired from the Navy and listed several of the places he had once called home (including Virginia and Belgium). Here was someone who understood how loaded the question really is. It was like finding an unlikely soulmate in a sea of foreigners. But finding that type of understanding outside of our military community is rare.
Some days I look longingly at friends who are settled. From my perspective their living in a house they have owned for years, their children attending the same school with the same children for each grade and their ability to lay down permanent roots looks so comforting. They don't face the regular uncertainty of where they will end up next, whether the schools and the job will be acceptable and more importantly, what their new house and neighborhood will be like. On the flip side, I've had civilian friends comment about how exciting and even glamourous my life must be. From the inside, living this life certainly doesn't feel that way. Yes, with mobility comes opportunities and we take full advantage of them as they arise. But that doesn't negate the desire to not have to always be on the move. I'd love to not be continually packing and unpacking boxes, trying to make new friends and finding my way around a new community. Someday, someday.....
So where are we from? For the time being we live in the moment and home is where ever the Navy sends us. And at at the moment, that happens to be Belgium.
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I very much enjoy your musings about life and your experiences as a military family stationed overseas.ReplyDelete
As for "where are you from?" Unless it is a mapquest type question, you are not "from" Belgium, you live in Belgium, before that Albania, before that....... How you define where would depend on who is asking: American tourist, someone associated with US govt, or a local. I think people are just wondering who you are and what you might have in common or what you might know that they don't; -- As for the intrepid and very intelligent Sydney-- he is from where ever you tell him he is from. It's a linguistics lesson for him to learn what "where are you from" means in this case. You took him "home" for the summer to gain similar childhood experiences that you remember. He is in an American in a military family. I would say he is an American, now living in Belgium, he just hasn't spent very much time "where he is from" yet. It depends on who is asking and perhpaps its all part of the linguistics lesson.
You have my admiration for your adventurousness. (I hope things work out for soccer).
Dee from Oregon