And it's all so sudden! One day you're packing to move to a foreign country, at the peak of your independence, visualising all the wondrous adventures you'll have and how great it'll all be, and the next day it's all gone. Of course, at first you don't even bother with it, you're so excited. But once all the early frenzy wears off you start to feel all that has been lacking in your life. And this is where I am. I've been trying to fight it off with denial, and lets just say it was a rotten plan. I have left behind so many people and so many hobbies that practically defined the person that I was that I now have trouble recognising myself when I look in the mirror. I don't dance. I don't sing. I don't go to the movies. I don't drive. Instead I do all sorts of things that I didn't before. I cook and tend to the house. I travel by train. I get happy when the sky is only partly clouded. It's like Joana ceased to be in August 2011 and now there's Jo. Yep, that's what everyone here calls me. Jo. And I can't live like this anymore. Being just Jo isn't good enough. So I'm going on a rescue mission and I'll be damned if I don't bring part of the old me back!
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The lost self
Since getting to the UK I feel I've somewhat lost my independence. I know it sounds weird, that's it should be the other way around, but stay with me! Moving to a foreign it's like going back in time; suddenly you feel you're five again and can't even be trusted to cross the street safely (which, by the way, is not an original idea; I've read it in one of Bill Bryson's books). Practically everything you had is lost or left behind in your home country and even your hard-earned life-long knowledge of how things work may not be applicable where you now live. So you have to start over regaining every little bit of that independence. Getting yourself into the system (national insurance, bank account, national health services, council tax, etc), getting a mobile, getting a job, learning how to navigate your area of residence, understanding the local accent, making new friends and, to people living in the UK such as myself, re-learning how to drive.