There is a restlessness that comes from growing up between cultures. And endless search for who I am, for an identity. A constant effort to find elements of myself in different environments.
Having spent most of my growing-up years in a warm, humid climate, I always assumed I was one for sunny, sociable, expressive, “together” cultures. Then one exceptionally snowy November, I found myself in Sweden. And I somehow felt relieved. The isolation, the solitary houses scattered across a sprawling landscape, the “we can be friendly, but let me have my space” attitude, it all resonated with a part of me. The part that needs room and time alone to figure out who I am and what I’m thinking. That needs silence to listen to the voices in my head. That loves a little desolation.
This part of me feels a need to breathe, deeply. To explore on my own. To feel like Lucy, taking her first steps onto the untrodden snow of Narnia. To be drawn deeper into the woods despite the oncoming darkness. And to hear only the dripping snow, the crunching of my own footsteps, and an occasional bird fluttering through the branches.
These are moments when the other voices in my head stop speaking. When I listen, really hard, hoping to hear who I am.
And as I feel the dark slowly coming on, my head overcomes my heart as I tear myself away from the path carrying on into the woods. I feel like I’m leaving behind a treasure, an adventure, the call of the unknown and the lonesome. The explorer inside me heaves a great big sigh. I hope this path will be for another day.
I head back to the dusky cabin, smelling of freshly chopped pinewood, and I write. With a tinge of regret for leaving that wonderfully luring path into the woods.