Something continually drives me away from belonging, away from a conventional life. I can remember sitting in maths class at school dreaming of another life. I was always curious about other cultures; I travelled to Malawi at 18, and married an Algerian some years later. I used to love leaving the academic bubble at the end of the day and coming home to his down-to-earth North African humour. Part of me secretly fantasised about living one day in his family home, spending my days nattering with in-laws and making couscous. 😀
I value the diverse perspectives and experiences in my life because they feed my curiosity and my fascination with people and my thirst for understanding. They open my mind and make my life extremely rich, varied and interesting.
And yet I wonder how much of this is about running away? When I look back to school days, I have never really engaged with my life. Never comfortable in my own skin. My accent is messed-up; in a very tribal sense, I don’t belong anywhere and have always keenly felt that. Have I shunned belonging because I didn’t want it, or because I didn’t have it and didn’t think I could ever have it? Have I made myself a perpetual foreigner because at least that way my lack of belonging comes as no surprise to anyone?
And does it matter? 😯