I remember as if it was today, the day in which my British acquaintances couldn’t really look me in the eye. That was the day when we all got to know that UK voted to leave the European Union. What a moment in history to be an expat in this country.
At that time I felt disappointed, even betrayed. All the unconscious bias toward foreigners I had been suspicious of was now supported by a nation’s choice. On that day, I wore my Portuguese flag as a scarf on my neck and joked around: is was not only Brexit that was happening; Vanexit was occurring at the same time. However, things calmed down a bit, after the storm. As we all know, Brexit hasn’t formally happened yet, and my plan to remain for at least 5 or 10 more years was somehow restored.
Something changed again though. Brexit is no longer that big worry, or at least it no longer weighs down on my decision to stay or leave. I now simply want to leave, and probably never return, unless for business purposes. I’m tired of being by myself and feeling like my days are dull and grey. When I come back home, there’s no one there to sit down and chat about my day. I have no one to speak my own language – and I don’t mean Portuguese. UK’s culture and people’s way of being caused me more hurt than joy.
Maybe I just made up my mind some time ago and stopped trying to be happy here. Maybe that’s the actual truth. Nonetheless, I think I have done a pretty good job at living and working abroad by myself – three years is a considerable amount of time. Also, working on the same project for such a period of time when I’m more creative than analytical is also quite an achievement in my perspective. That makes me feel I’m not quitting, I’m simply listening to my body (my sciatica is killing me today) and soul’s (I want to do crafts, paint, write…) desires, which I should have done sooner.
Right now, I just want to go home. I don’t know if I will stay there for a short or long while. All I know is that I need to be there to figure out what the next step is. I need to breathe-in that feeling which I can only find in my home country, the country which gave worlds to the world.