So much, so little. For a long time, I’ve felt very much at home. But each new year brings new memories, new victories, and defeats. A lot of memories must be made in a city; only then we can call it home. When you walk the streets that remind you of some beautiful or ugly moments. When you pass some settlements and think “I used to live here”, “I was working here when I first came to Ireland”. When you hear a song that reminds you of the first year or the first month in a new country, the first broken heart, the first newly acquired but failed friendship. The first disappointment, the first smile.
When on these same streets, you accidentally meet acquaintances or friends. When you feel comfortable, people’s faces do not seem strange and unusual anymore.
Recently on the train, next to me stood a girl with a cell phone in her hand. A foreigner. Silently crying, red faced, wiping her tears away with a scarf. Continuously looking at the cell phone. Red nosed, swollen eyes, tears that flowed like streams down her face. Her young companion with a smile looked at the same cell.
A lot of people never could or would understand why she is crying so bitterly, while he smiles widely with just a trace of nostalgia in his eyes. If you’ve ever lived away from your hometown, away from your family, then you also used to be this brave girl or guy. Maybe her nephew or niece was born, and she could not be there to share in the joy. Perhaps her best friend got married, or maybe she just received a sweet video of a friends on a night out telling her they miss her.
These emotions are not real sadness. Nor do they mean that she is eager to be there. They simply mean something that is impossible and unattainable; ‘I want to be in two places at the same time. I want to be here, but I wish I could be there.’ I know that many times I was that crying girl on the train. And on the street, and on the bus, at work, in the strangest places possible. The strangest possible moments.
While I thought about all this, the girl stopped crying, wiped the last tears against her coat, proudly raise her pretty (currently red) face and moist eyes, and bravely looked around. She felt no shame, nor cared who noticed her emotional moment, because it did not happen the first time, and surely would not be the last. There is no reason to be ashamed. Meanwhile, the boy was facing the window of the train, looking off into the distance.
This is just one of the 100 days. The rest are filled with laughter, excitement, and new experiences.
At the end of the story, one of the most beautiful things in the world is to have more than one home. People in different parts of the world who love you and miss you every day.
It’s beautiful, ‘cause when you finally spend some time with them, it’s going to be even sweeter and you’ll never take the moments for granted.