Home Bittersweet Home: Finding Your Way Back
李俊弘 James Lee 實習諮商心理師
#alone #lost #change #abroad #cominghome
Have you ever felt ‘alone’ even though you’re with a familiar crowd?
Have you ever felt ‘lost’ even though you know exactly where you are?
Have you ever felt “alienated” even in your own home?
“Jack had returned home to Taiwan after studying abroad in the US. Coming back to a familiar house with unfamiliar faces, Jack saw that the walls have been painted, that there was new sofa, and that his old bedroom was now a guest room with flowery-patterned wallpaper. He couldn’t figure out where anything belonged, not even himself. After being away for years, instead of feeling happy to be back, Jack felt uncomfortable and unfamiliar with his surroundings.”
Whether you’re moving back to Taiwan after completing your studies overseas or returning to your roots after years abroad, time away from any place has a way of altering reality. Whether it’s being away for a few months or for several years, returning to Taiwan and reintegrating can be difficult. At first, you’ll have the opportunity to catch up with old friends and see family and even have a chance to re-explore the restaurants you enjoyed eating growing up as a kid. But sometimes, somewhere on the back-burner, there may be a feeling that something just ain’t right.
It takes time to relearn everything. Realizing that you can pretty much pay for every bill at your local convenient store may be a happy relearning, but getting a ticket for not having your helmet on while riding your scooter may be a surprise since you got away with it 20 years ago.
The scenery may be the same year after year, but the people in it may not. Your return home may bring about a renewed unfamiliarity, and this unfamiliarity may easily unravel into unpleasant and frustrating experiences. You may no longer have the freedom and space you once had while you were abroad, and instead you’re frequently met with the prying eyes of boundary-less relatives. You may even come face-to-face with cultural expectations that you’ve long forgotten, such as being constantly reminded that success is measured strictly by your salary and the size of your family.
Once you understand that things have changed and people have changed, you might also come to see that you have changed too.
Whatever the change may be, know that you deserve to enjoy the life you have chosen, whether it be here in Taiwan or abroad. Know that home is not where you reside, but where you are understood and cared for. And know that we at Seeing Counseling Center are here to help you do just that.
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