The hardest part of living so far away from my family, is living so far away from them. Now that I do live thousands of miles away there are moments of guilt that set in, making me consider wanting to move back. But unfortunately or fortunately I have adopted, adjusted, settled into my life here and the luxuries that come with living here, which makes the thought of leaving absolutely hard.
Using the word luxuries seems trivial, it makes it sound that my life before here was sans all luxuries and that would be absolutely incorrect. But then again the definition of the word luxuries does vary depending on the circumstances. A car is probably a luxury there but a necessity here. It is not the car or the other luxuries that keep me here, it is mostly the life I have built for myself after having faced many challenges that makes me want continue to live here.
I uprooted myself and struggled to call it home for years, but fast forward almost 15 years and now the thought of leaving and going back to start all over again is almost impossible comprehend. I am unsure if I have it in me to do it again, even though it would be in the country I called home and would have a support system.
But as my parents get older, I am constantly torn with the thought or sometimes maybe even guilt ridden that I am not there to spend time with them, take them to doctors and help them out any way I can. So I constantly grapple with the idea of packing my bags, saying goodbye to my adopted home and starting all over again. I could write lists with pros and cons, but how do you beat the pros of living close to friends and family ?
A couple of days ago I was talking to one of my best friends about this conundrum and I said to him, I feel guilty sometimes for not feeling more guilty about wanting to move back.
Maybe it is a cultural thing that is ingrained in us about having to take care of our parents and be there for them. I am not saying that those in the Western world don’t want to take care of their parents or don’t grapple with the same thoughts, but the options available are far more than what I can find in my country.
I cannot ever imagine moving my parents to nursing home or elders home, that thought and idea would be preposterous, if it was to ever come to that, I know I would pack my bags and leave. But I know that my other sibling is there for them and takes care of everything, making it easier for me to continue my life here, which most often adds to my guilt.
The question I constantly ask myself is, while my sister has never directly asked me to move back, what would be the right thing to do ? I torture and torment myself with that on a regular basis. While my mother accepts that my life is here, my dad on the other hand tells me that it might be time to come back home and have more of support system for me. I don’t know if his claim of telling me to come back is really for a support system for me or just the fact that as he gets older he would like to have his children around.
As much as I loved my life there and I agree I would have a support system there, I have learned to love my life here and I have created my own support system of friends and relationships here, which I don’t want to leave.
I wish this was an easy decision to make, where I could toss a coin in the air and say heads I stay and tails I move. Of course you never know, I might have to resort to that at some point if I am unable to make a decision on my own.
However, while I go find the right coin to toss in the air, the guilt I feel for not feeling guilty has no bounds.