Defining home: Part II

So often in that apartment I wished for a private space to cry, to scream, to express all the frustration and anger I carried as a child, trying to be adult about my lack of English in an English-speaking society. Trying to learn that perhaps my childhood had ended abruptly, without me realizing, or anticipating it.
My writing craze started with an insignificant short-short story in Ms. Ford’s English class. Ms. Ford, who had stylish grey hair, who was tall, and loud and pronounced my name strongly, dragging it out like it was some mystical title of a foreign poem. The story was about a girl who made a mask for halloween, from what I vaguely remember. Ms. Ford encouraged me to edit it, and together we polished it until she decided it was worthy to be read out loud for the class.
I occupied my time at home, trying to perfect a language that seemed unreachable. I couldn’t express every fear, every anger to my mother who was struggling herself. My mother who had given up 50 years as a mother and housewife, to now be serving lunch at a high school cafeteria. And yet she was more free than I ever have been, but I didn’t know that then. She once told me the story of how she nearly cried when she left the cookies too long in the oven and they burned, and she was having a hard time explaining what happened to her boss.
The trouble with older parents, who are hard-working, and do the best they can for the betterment of their children’s future, is that if you are a mature child, you know that already. You are then reluctant to express the difficulties you are having for fear of appearing ungrateful. Of course, my unhappiness showed. My mother knew I wasn’t laughing; she’d caught me crying on multiple occasions. But she also never promised everything will be okay. And while we all grew out of the fear of immigration, and moved on with our lives, and became “successful” in terms of finding our comfort space, and becoming more or less who we are today, for the better, it never really was okay. At least not for me.
If I am still having a hard time, still searching for a “home” that doesn’t exist, for a perfect version of myself that doesn’t exist, for a permanence that I’ve always feared, then I have not been okay. Any time I begin to sense that I am staying somewhere too long, I get this ache to leave, and move, and change my external space, always under the false impression that with it my internal feelings will be at peace, will rewaken and break the pattern of constancy and boredom. There is something in me always wanting to experience, and I have formed this illusion that the more experiences I acquire, the more complete a person I’ll be.
Is the fear of permanence rooting from once learning as a child that there was no going back to the country of my birth? Is it that with impermanence I have at least the security of knowing I am not stuck somewhere, having to put up with the fears I carry with myself, a running away.
Maybe I’ve been running away for too long. And maybe it is time to face myself, the person I constantly run away from.

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