On becoming different

I know I am wearing myself dry and thin, and that it'll take me several weeks to regain full health and energy again, but at the same time, I know that my mother is here for only a few weeks and even in the best case scenario it'll be several years before we see again, before she sees my children again. Worst case scenario, never - it's kind of that back-of-the-head thought when parents get to that 60+ age when, sometimes, things just happen.

I know that it is taking a toll on everyone, the way our days are so different, the way we run around town, go swimming, visit parks, shops - my mother loves shopping - but because it is only for a few weeks, I do it.

I am tired. The Kid is grizzly. Days are a but of a... mess at the moment, but...

She's here. She gets to hold my daughter and walk with my son. We get to argue - just like we did when I lived in Estonia and went to uni - and then we get to make up again, until we start arguing again.

Having her here has made me realise just how much my worldview has changed over the past ten years. It's like I speak a different language. Technically, we speak the same - Estonian - but we understand what we say differently, and I recognise in it bits that are specifically... Estonian. Nordic. Post-Soviet.


And in it I am starting to see that, God!, I'm not really that much Estonian any more. I am still from Estonia, but I am not like it much any more, and it makes me feel... rootless, unsettled somehow, because I am not sure I am New Zealandish either, but in that unsettled-ness it is also giving me a sense of freedom for I am living where I have chosen to be living and... and...

It's hard to write. What I want to say is so nuanced that I am not sure even I know exactly what it is that I want to be saying, but the bottom line is, I am different. I've become different, and it is both sad and gratifying to see.


  1. I know what you are speaking of. I do see my Estonian family much more often (usually at least once a year) but with having lived in multiple different countries, having to adjust to a different culture and language each time I have changed alongside these experiences. Experiences that are completely different from what my Estonian friends and family go through. We all come out on the other side, but I am very unaccustomed to being judged for my decisions and practices. And the more we differ the more I get judged. Thankfully to my face, as I prefer that, but it has created a chasm none the less. I feel homeless (not rootless, as I know where those are - in Estonia), but having to move every 2-3 years due to my husband's job, with 2 preschoolers in tow have gotten me wondering about the importance of a real home and staying put. We struggle with the same dilemmas (I'd love to work, he'd love to stay at home) and we don't see any solutions in the near future. Which means we create our own realities, making choices based on the circumstances life throws at us. There are several good articles about being an ex-patriate and how it'll be difficult to fit in anywhere anymore. So, we pay for the adventures and excitement with loneliness and only very few people understanding us. I think I'd still choose the life I have, though. While infuriating and unnecessarily difficult at times, it has shaped me into a person I am mostly happy with. Strong, fearless and capable. Anyway, just keep going strong and growing in a direction that is your path. There are no porridge mountains or milk rivers anywhere (to paraphrase that old Estonian saying), so it's best to make do with what you have. I tell myself that repeatedly when I feel down. :)

    1. I think that is the most thoughtful comment I have ever received. Thank you!

      By the way, do you blog? It would be interesting to read more of your thoughts.