Okay, so for my next instalment of my Personal Blog Challenge, (I missed last week due to this) I pulled out this little charm:Sigh.
If you asked me that question a year ago, I’d have a litany of things to tell you about my sweet, sweet Trinidad. I would tell you about how when you get into a taxi, everyone greets you “Good morning/Good day/Good afternoon”. I would tell you about when you go to town, there is ALWAYS music playing from people selling bootleg CDs. I would tell you about how people drive SO recklessly. I would probably even tell you that at any moment someone could show up unexpectedly at the front gate with reasons ranging from “I was in the area and thought I would pass through” to “We going to the beach, you going? Put on some clothes, get a towel and come go!”
Even writing about those things in this moment, makes me incredibly nostalgic. Trinidad is a place where I grew up, where I am loved and where people who love me live. Even though I don’t go back as often as I would like, every time I go back, I slip right into my place and it’s like I never left. All the love is waiting for me whenever I get there to claim it. It’s an incredibly powerful thing to know that you have impacted people that way just by being yourself and the impact has no time or space limit.
The thing about migrating in my mid-twenties is that I left behind real things and real people. I wasn’t a child without a past. I had a fully developed life, which was in motion when I left. I had a career, not just a job. I had friends, real friends who had my back. I had a family, a real family. Now that I have lived in Vancouver for 10 years, I’ve developed a whole new life for myself. I have a fully developed life here too, so my definition of “home” has evolved over the years.
As I said, if you asked me a year ago, when I was still pining for my life and the person I was when I lived in Trinidad, I would give you a very general list of things. It only dawned on me a few months ago that here is home too. I have people here who love me just the same and there are things about Vancouver that do feel like home to me too. When I leave here and go somewhere else, I do pine for it just the same. I was able to understand that Trinidad evoked feelings of comfort, which I have now.
But now, today, I can tell you the things that I “miss” about Trinidad aren’t really things at all, but rather moments: moments that I cannot have there because I live here.
I can tell you, I wish I had the opportunity to be in my little niece’s life and my friend’s children’s lives: see them grow, have them know me and Kidlet, and obviously spoil them! I wish I had the opportunity to spend time with my brothers, getting to know the men they’ve become in the past 10 years. I wish Kidlet knew how to play hockey (on grass, not on ice). I wish I could go to Maracas Beach or Carenage or Las Cuevas at a moment’s notice and the water will always be warm. I wish Kidlet drank Orchard juice and ate buns. I wish I could spend my Saturday mornings at the hairdresser listening to gossip and being wowed by what I looked like when I was finished. I wish I had the opportunity to visit Mummy’s grave enough times to be okay with it and not live far enough away to avoid it.
Thoughts of Trinidad for me now, are less focussed on a physical place or culture, but are focussed on more moments that are waiting to be experienced and treasured.