My Transformation: The Sunshine State

The move to Florida I welcomed with yet another set of opinions. This time, however, I could loudly express them to whomever crossed my path.

While finishing my affairs in Toronto, I was saying goodbye to familiarity, safety, people and places. Cherishing memories, I packed up my life again to a big 18-wheeler with an allotted compartment to set “my home” off on a journey across the continent.

I think there is an enormous difference between having a choice vs. following somebody else’s choice. Despite the obvious benefits of the relocation to Team Jamroz – career advancement, access to new possibilities ¬– my personal world got turned upside down over and turmoil set in. Feeling of violation showed up – as I felt I had no saying in what was important to me and only me – and triggered a series of clues my life had started delivering to me ever so subtly. The familiar feeling of missing home settled for good and made me question and investigate where my home really was.

For a long time, I had wrestled with the concept of being far away from Poland, far away from the pigeonhole that in some way was giving me a perception of belonging. One place, same four walls, mundane tasks and “comforting” mindsets as a guarantee of security and predictability. Absolutely not needing to make any effort to change anything. Living on a prescribed set of options.

Then, I remember the feeling of an instant connection to a variety of cultures I got exposed to while in Canada. I greeted diversity with open arms. Being a legal alien and being surrounded by other aliens has awaken something within. It has stimulated senses and made me reaffirm my conviction not to take anything for granted. Looking at things with ‘new eyes’ and seeing the notion of home and its new meaning. “Home is not just a place where you happen to be born. It’s a place where you become yourself.” Where your heart beats to its own beat, where your soul truly belongs. Seven years later I found a place which earned the “home” status. Pleasant and snugly sensation after years of feeling “homeless”.

The move to the Sunshine State has put the quest for finding a home on my radar again. I remember the exact first impression upon arrival in Florida which never has really gone away. There was something undeclared in the air, mixed with humid and nearly unbearable heat. Perhaps my instincts were working overtime already. Possibly, I was sensing an upcoming change. In all of that, I found myself in lethargy, as I was trying to reconcile how the next days, weeks and months would look like for me. Trying to take advantage of the “gift” I received – becoming at least for now – a stay-at-home wife. Unpacking the house from boxes in hope it would become my home. Finding my ways. Missing the energy of the big city along with accessibility to what I had become used to. Questioning. Feeling uninspired. Running on “cruise control” so I might think I am assimilating. I was spotting the overwhelming grip of the well-known apathy. A place with no motion and the God’s waiting room, sucking the energy away one breath at a time.

Strong feelings started showing up as I was being volunteered to be someone that I was clearly not. To participate in pretentious and artificial conversations. To establish relationships with people I had nothing in common and with whom I fundamentally disagreed. To relate and to engage. To pretend I am one of them. Dreading the ever so present feeling of betraying myself. I refuse to participate in social situations where I am perceived as inadequate only because I do not support a lie as the only option to live by. Being shunned for refusing opinions brought about by popular demand. Instead, I wanted to cherish and revel the child-like part of me. To react with enthusiasm and joy to whomever and whatever made me smile. To welcome new perspectives and partake in dialog that suspends judgment.

Relocating, moving around and/or travelling provides a wonderful opportunity and contributes to our growth, only then of course, if we are able to accept and process the given homework. It offers constantly evolving mix of different places and grants us a privilege, by allowing us to experience so. Ultimately, the movement creates a meaning only if we have a home to come back to. Sometimes we have to stop for a moment, to reconnect and to rediscover – the place which we no longer wish to escape. Stepping out of the life you have always known enables you to have an overdue conversation with a friend long not seen and to truly see the world you profoundly care about and to find home. ”And home, in the end, is of course not just the place where you sleep. It’s the place where you stand. It is a place in your heart, in an immortal soul that travels with you through the centuries as it knows and guide towards your destiny, your home.”

For now it is my waiting room…


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