Every place is foreign, until it becomes home. That home may change every so many years, but the way each place becomes home follows the same pattern. When you first arrive somewhere new, everything is foreign, strange and intimidating. The house has strange sounds you still aren’t used to; the streets look so daunting; a new school seems like a labyrinth. You don’t know how to find you way around the buildings, let alone the neighborhood, and emotions are raw. Every obstacle seems insurmountable and every struggle seems impossible to overcome.
Then, little by little, you start to find your way around. You understand how to find the room you’re looking for in school; you start to recognize the streets; the once strange sounds in the house are now familiar and even comforting. Suddenly, as if by magic, this foreign land became home. You never actually realize when you cross that invisible line, but one day it dawns on you that it’s felt like home for a while. That day when you’re the one helping a new student find their way around. The day when someone asks you for directions and you have no trouble telling them how to get there. The day when someone working at the local coffee shop or ice-cream store recognizes you and remembers you as a regular customer. The day when the local kids all wave to you as they pass by on their bicycles…
It’s when those days come along that you realize how easily and quickly you forget the disorientation of those first weeks. You forget how lost you felt and how foreign everything looked. You forget how scared you were and how you wondered if you would ever be able to adapt or settle in here. You forget until you have to do it all over again. But, as hard as it is every time, you know you’ll make it.
You always have.