If you have left your homeland and now dwell in a new land perhaps you have often encountered feeling like the outsider.
We learn, we grown, we do our very best to "fit in". And yet then again comes one of the stupid moments when the whole charade comes tumbling down and again you rise above all the locals as the outsider.
I have now lived in this land 8 years. I like to think that being half Latvian makes it easier for me to "fit in". . . But who knows if that is true.
I like this land, most of the time. I like these folks and their country, after all I do have roots here.
But you know, there are some things I really do like about America too.
I miss friendly cashiers- as weird as it may sound. And every time I go to the States I am tickled pink by how friendly cashiers sometimes are- even to the point it makes me laugh wondering how genuine or fake they are. Or perhaps it just how uncommon they seem after the quiet ones here.
I miss feeling "normal."- I have never been one that fits in, even in the States. But at least there I more or less fit in. Here when people find out I was home-schooled they look at me like I must have grown up and been educated on some alien planet.
I miss fast food choices-that is not to say I was ever a big fast food eater. But we don't even have a single fast food place in the city I live in. And now and again I sure would love a slice of Pizza Hut pizza or a taco from Taco Bell.
I miss hearing English- I realized recently that I can say the exact same thing in English as I told someone in Latvian. But only when I hear myself say it in MY language do I really hear (as in my heart feels and understands) what I am saying. I so miss going to an English speaking church- and actually hearing the sermons. I understand Latvian fine, but between trying to keep kids quiet and all the distractions one normally has I don't seem to really hear much of a sermon- or it goes in one ear and out the other.
I miss family- By far the thing hardest about living an ocean from your family is the fact that you rarely meet. Keeping close is hard work and holidays are sad when you can't be together. If you are close enough to give your loved ones a hug- then DO IT!
But then there are those things I love about this place.
I love that all health care for my kids is free.
I love that it is more normal to eat healthy here and finding local products is not difficult and not pricey.
I love that my kids speak 2 languages fluently.
I love that having a vegetable garden is normal :) (When we visited my parents last time in the States we walked all over the city and saw only one garden. We were shocked).
I am proud that I can carry on the Latvian line in my family.
I am thankful that I now have dual citizenship (As of the last couple weeks).
I am blessed to be a part of two worlds.