On May 15, 2016, a lengthy and an emotionally tumultuous chapter of my life came to a temporary end. On May 16, 2016, a new one began. Starting anew is never easy, even if it takes place in a country that I once loved. Time and space can, inevitably, rid of our sense of old-time familiarity-a level of resonance that we once felt deeply in our core.
Home is not a fixed concept. Rather, It evolves, changes, and travels, expansively, along with our personal experiences. As someone, who has been tucked away in an adopted country for more than a decade, now that I’m back to the place, where I took my breath and saw the sunlight for the first time, I can honestly attest to the fluidity of the concept of what constitutes a home.
I’m sitting here in my family home, feeling like a foreigner visiting a faraway land. Looking around everything in the proximity, it appears to me, as though, not much has changed since my last departure-The air smells the same; the old waste water reservoir in front of my family apartment building remains as dirty, filthy, and clogged as it has ever been; the chaos in the city, alarmingly exemplified by the loud car honk, is as noxiously ubiquitous as ever, and, last but not least, the lack of personal space in every direction that I turn to is unquestionably the ultimate source, from which my ugly intolerance is provoked, and my felt annoyance is originated.
The harder I do my best to adapt to my “new” environment, the clearer it becomes to me that I no longer belong to this city, to this culture, and to this country. My time away from my old home, along with my newfound aspirations have changed me. They have made me aware of the fact that my heart’s desires can no longer be satisfied by the pretense and the display of superficial wealth and luxury, in an authoritarian censorship-based societal and political climate.
I despise excessive control and restriction, because my childlike imagination gets killed as a consequence of it. Having no choice but to embrace what’s facing me, I struggle helplessly. In fighting against this newfound helplessness, I gradually assume the role of a lone ranger, knowing full well that I have become the only person, who is capable of, potentially, helping me become oblivious to the nightmares that have come to pass, at the same time, propel me to the realization of my wildest dreams.
Realizing a dream is an ambitious grand plan, over the course of which many variables can unexpectedly derail a linear journey. The unpredictable harshness-twist and turn of the travel, makes it only possible for those are not only brave, but also, more importantly, committed to their dreams to reach their final destination; hence why dream chasers are oftentimes worshiped and admired in a glorious fashion.
Another day is gone. My dreams remain a million miles away. Looking up at the blazing sun in this tropical sky, I wonder what the weather is like back home in Toronto as I am putting down these words.