Many people warned me about how strange and somehow difficult a life in a new land would be. Not because of the land itself, relevant as it is, but for the changes in our lives, deep within us, touching and grabbing the roots of our own selves.
Whoever says s/he has already found the true essence of her/his existence is either lying, trying to convince him/herself or actually making a well analyzed, self conscious statement that many people take a whole life to find out. Good for them on the latter.
It’s been almost four months since I left my cousy bed in Bogota, my regular dinner meetings with friends and coworkers, my cold nights with my greastest friend at home. See, I felt pretty confident that such person enjoying and living all those moments was someone I knew. “This is me”, I guess. Of course I questioned myself several times before, you know, when your mind ‘clicks’ and all of the sudden you’re a grown up paying bills and being in charge of your own self. When you realize that… that’s it (?) But here, being a student again, eating food I unskillfully cook myself all salty and greasy, putting my hands next to a radiator while the wind outside threatens to tear down all buildings in Östra Torn, I meditate and come up with the same questions again. Questions I asked myself several years ago and thought I successfully answered to sculpt my “me”.
It’s not only about my empirical isolated experience. I think that most of my reasoning emerged from interacting with others. In academic contexts, you’re kind of forced to interact. Not that I’m not into it… I love it! But I wasn’t exactly into meeting new people each week back in my “past”. Here is impossible not to, and that’s overwhelmingly impressive. These “other people” got me thinking about me. People with breathtaking backgrounds, those you read in books and magazines. Those you didn’t even expect to hear about, anticipate or picture, and they positively end up shocking you even more. I have always found people’s stories fascinating, enriching and valuable. It’s impressive how a person’s perspective of life and the world can be shaped by innumerable aspects, such as a TV show, a family tragedy, a political struggle or even a war.
It makes me re-think everything about my own “me”. Why am I “me”? How did I come to create this version of myself? What shaped me? Do I actually know that? Am I just being me and that’s that? Who do I enjoy being the most with? Why? Why do I even like the music I like? What are my passions, my interests, my hobbies, my “pushing” or “driving” forces? Is it ok if I just don’t have any, and I just… be? Is it coming out as a result of this international experience or is it some sort of existential crisis that happened to coincide with my current state of being? Is this “me” today, the same “me” that is going to be for the rest of my life? Am I really me?