Fleeting Woman, Phenomenal Woman
Most people can answer the question "where are you from?" with one or two words. This is not the case for me. My heritage, my place of birth, my longest-lasting address and my current residence are all different countries. As a result, my answer is usually pretty vague. I'm something like a nomad. I live in a place for a while, absorb some parts of it, and keep it moving.
To some, it might seem like a pretty cool thing. Last month, I lived in New England. This month, I live in Nairobi. But every move, every goodbye I leave a piece of me behind. Or maybe what I'm leaving behind is a potential me. I've made promises to return to people and places but I know it can never be the same even if I do return. I am only this version of me in this moment of life. There may never be a next time, or if there is, there won't be the same me. I won't feel the same, I won't think the same. Those connections will surrender to the past and only their memories will continue to the present. So I keep moving and I try to keep the memories neatly stowed away in my two pieces of luggage.
Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I didn't leave my last job or if I opted to spend my summers gardening with my grandma instead of intentionally getting lost in a strange place. Sometimes I feel bad for not being able to tell my partner when next we'll live on the same side of the world. I repeatedly choose the path of uncertainty because the 'certain' path always feels uncomfortable. Even when it seems like I'm doing the right thing, I always question and doubt myself. Why am I here? Should I have stayed or gone somewhere else? Where to next? Is it a step in the right path? *Is* there even a path? Should I be making a 5 year plan? Why is that even necessary?
Everyone else's story seems fairly straightforward and summarized easily in a status update -- "Happy to be celebrating 4 years at my awesome job!" "Our family is growing. My son is so excited to have a baby brother or sister!" "Can't believe I'm already in my third year of law school!" -- but for me, the storyline is unclear. I wonder if things would begin to make sense if I settled down and modeled my life after everyone else, but to be honest the thought of future planning is daunting and frightening and boring all at the same time. Until I can wrap my head around settling down, I won't.
Sometimes it feels like flying, other times it feels like freefall. But that's okay.
'Cause I am a fleeting woman. Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that's me.