Sometimes when you live in a new city, you forget who you really are because you’re surrounded by so many people who are different from you; they come from different backgrounds, they have different values and your cultures are nothing alike.
So you find yourself lost; oscillating between holding on to your roots or trying to blend in this new culture you’re now supposedly a member of.
So you slowly change bits and pieces of you until you don’t know where each piece belongs or even who you are, but you convince yourself that this is better for you, that you’re now a better person, that this new personality suits you more because it’s cooler, it’s more popular and it’s more successful.
You begin to change until you no longer recognize the person you used to be.
You eat food that you pretend to like, you date people you have nothing in common with, you make friends with people who don’t really understand you and you settle for living an unexciting life because you want to be part of this new life, you want to feel like you’re walking in the streets as a local not a foreigner and you want to feel like you belong.
But then you go back to where you came from and you remember who you used to be. You remember how it feels like to speak without filtering your words, you remember how it feels to speak your mind without people judging you and you slowly find your old self emerging back, the parts of you that you suppressed are now coming back to life and you remember how it feels like to belong, to feel understood, to be accepted and loved for who you are.
The only good thing about remembering who you really are is that you get to choose what you can take back with you and what you can leave behind.
You get to decide which parts are worth fighting for and which parts need to go.
Because even though you miss who you used to be, you know that this wasn’t your best, this wasn’t your greatest and there was no way to know that if you had stayed stuck in the same place.
You had to move, you had to explore, you had to make mistakes and search for yourself, you had to get lost and find yourself again and you had to live in different places to know where you belong.
And maybe you’re still searching, maybe you’re still exploring, maybe you’re still struggling to find your own voice and that’s okay as long as you hold on to the dearest parts of yourself.
The parts that make you special, the parts that keep you warm when it’s cold, the parts that keep you entertained when you’re lonely and the parts that keep you going when you want to give up.
And if you need to remember what they are, you can always go back to where you came from because sometimes things make sense when we change, when we go away for a while and come back, when we start seeing things with new eyes and when we remember that sometimes being in the wrong place brings out a different version of us.
But sometimes being in the wrong place brings us closer to the right one, it brings us closer to home and it brings us closer to the person we’re trying to be.