Going through Passport Control at Dublin airport Tuesday night I headed to the Non-EU passports line with my blue US passport and my Garda identity card open and ready for stamps and viewing. The immigration officer on duty was smiling and chatty (they usually are which is nice) and asked how was my trip. "I'm glad to be home" was my immediate response. It took me by surprise because when I'm in Ireland I always think of Texas as 'home'.
It's strange to straddle home and away…one leg in Ireland and the other stretched way across the Atlantic and most of the States. It can make you feel unmoored and wonder, where is home really? It is also liberating. Being far away from what you are to others allows you to find out who you are for yourself.
Homesickness usually happens around holidays or when someone is sick or when you feel like an outsider all of a sudden. But worse than that is when you wonder if you even want to go back. I was thumbing through a magazine this week that highlighted Austin and felt weird when I realized that I didn't know either of the places mentioned. Now I'm an outsider in my own town.
You can miss a place, a restaurant, a town; but those things are transient. Seeing Abby and Kristin gave me a shot of happiness and reminded me that distance doesn't matter a bit. It's the people that matter and they will always be there.
Just after the "I'm glad to be home" came "I'm excited to see my family". People again. My people. The five of us are my home. Half of our things are in boxes in my mother's attic and the other half are in boxes here, behind the playroom sofa and under the stairs. This house is nice but it's not mine at all. It feels like a corporate let with its patterned sofas, ugly art, and nondescript paint colors. It is home solely because it is where we are.
With the move to France we are about to be even more upside down but we are the one sure thing. After this we'll see. Maybe the bricks and mortar will be in France. Or maybe we'll find our way back to the States. It doesn't really matter as long as we have each other.
I am glad to be home.