Today I am heading back to London. As happy as I am to be returning to our home, our things, and to see our London friends again, I am gutted to be leaving my hometown Lisbon, my friends here and my family.
It’s that mixed up feeling again, the one I’ve spoken about before. The feeling of having several places to call ‘home’ but of never really belonging anywhere anymore. No matter where you are you’ll always be missing something and someone. Always.
I had a wonderful time here. We spent some lovely days at the beach with family, went to a few family lunches that were super fun, went to visit grandparents and cousins, played around with (some of) the little ones in the swimming pool. Had fun sharing stories with the teens, trying to advise as much as we could but mostly learning from them, keeping us young. Went to trendy rooftops in Lisbon with friends, and to the beach in Lisbon, with friends and family. Had those philosophical and transcendent talks with that one friend who always gets it. Went to a few lunches and dinners with friends, catching up, learning about the projects, love, happiness and sadness in their lives. We laughed a lot. We ate a LOT of good food. And although the days were full and it feels like we’ve been here for a month, I haven’t left yet and I miss it all already.
And there’s always that feeling that you didn’t get to be with everyone – and we didn’t. As much as you try, there’s only so many people you can manage to squeeze into your agenda, at least if you’re looking to have some quality time. I’ve honestly considered starting a sort of ‘emigrant speed dating’, where I just sit in a restaurant and wait for everyone to come and see me, using a timer. Once the alarm goes off, their time is up and it’s someone else’s turn to tell me all they can manage to in 60 minutes. This is how desperate it gets, that I actually start thinking about things like ‘emigrant speed dating’.
Leaving today there’s a sadness in my heart that I can’t prevent or even begin to explain. A sadness that next time I see my little cousins, maybe they’ll be all grown up; that I’ll be missing birthdays and family reunions; that I won’t learn how things we talked about now turned out, like what happened at that summer festival or how the first days at Uni went; that I won’t be able to visit my grandparents more and enjoy it while they’re here; that I won’t be able to visit my friends’ new crib or going to the housewarming dinner; that I won’t see that baby bump growing and probably when I am back the baby will be out already…
At the same time I know I have friends waiting for me in London and I am looking forward to see them again. We have movie nights and dinner parties planned already, and I am looking forward to that. I am also looking forward to get to our place, and enjoy each other’s’ company at last, chilling out without having appointments every other hour.
And I am not even adding my Belgian family to this whole picture yet, because if I think about it too much, I think I may just burst.
I miss it when things were simpler, when I only had one family to miss. Now I have three places in my heart, and no matter how hard I try it always feels like something’s missing… I wish teleportation was a thing already.
Anyways, gotta go now, one last catch up before we fly back home, leaving home behind.