O Caledonia! stern and wild, Meet nurse for a poetic child! Land of brown heath and shaggy wood, Land of the mountain and the flood. Land of my sires! what mortal hand Can e'er untie the filial band That knits me to thy rugged strand!
-Sir Walter Scott
The Lay of the Last Minstrel
Monday, July 6, 2015
A Life Less Extraordinary: Moving Back to my Homeland
The grass may be greener on the other side of the pond, but that doesn't necessarily make it better. It's just further away.
years ago I left my hometown and followed my dreams to Scotland. I
responded to the siren call of my future beckoning me to cross the ocean
to meet it face to face. At the time I couldn't say exactly what called
me to leave everyone I loved and start afresh in a new country. Though
instinct pointed the direction I didn't fully know the reason for my
emigration. Now I do. His name is Paul, and I would turn my life upside
down ten times over again to be with him. And so I am. We are leaving
the family, friends, and life we've built together in Aberdeenshire to
follow his career to Houston, Texas. Once again, I instinctively know
it's the right decision.
irony is not lost on me. I came all the way to Scotland only to marry a
man who seems destined to live in America. When I left Texas I sought
adventure and novelty. Now I return with a heightened appreciation for
familiarity. Living abroad forces you to flex cultural translation
muscles you didn't even know you had until you go home and find yourself
relaxing into a routine that requires no explanation. I will no longer
be the interesting outsider under a spotlight, answering friendly and
well-meaning questions about where I come from and what brought me here.
I'll gladly pass that baton off to my extroverted husband, who should
prepare himself for instant popularity and endless questions about his
ancestors left Scotland under various desperate circumstances and I
sometimes wonder if I inherited their sense of loss. Something here
makes me long for this land like no other. The west coast in particular
is almost painfully beautiful, and each time I arrive I immediately
begin to grieve for the moment I must leave. Scotland has taken root in
me and will forever be one of the few places I consider as home. Life in
Scotland is different from life in Texas, but neither is inherently
better than the other. They each have their challenges and charms, and I
love them both. I'm so glad to have wonderful family & friends
here to visit for many years to come.
so it is with a heavy heart that I close this chapter of my love affair
with Scotland. I cannot stay, but neither can I stay away.
"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time."