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It's interesting to look at your life, past to present, and think: "It has all led up to this...." And then wonder where it will lead to next.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Passing Through

Today my dad shared a documentary on Hulu about Americans raised in China. I can see how it might be boring to someone who was not raised in China or has no interest in China, but it really touched me. The guy only interviewed his father and his father's peers who lived in China in the 1920's, but somehow I can still relate to everything they talked about. 

It's funny, when I moved back to the states 6 years ago it was practically impossible to avoid the topic of growing up in China even with strangers. Now there are people who know me who have no idea I did. It's weird thinking back to when I lived in China, how America seemed like a dream, something far off and intangible. Now China is the dream. I remember trying to imagine what it would be like to live in America full-time. Would I fit in? Would I feel "American"? Would it feel like home? I was foreigner in China, but I also felt like a foreigner in America. I used to fantasize about what it would be like to not be different. To be like everyone else. It seems boring now, but at the time I wanted nothing else.

Well here I am now. An American, living in America. I fit in externally (I think), but internally I think I'll always be a foreigner. I don't feel American (what does that feel like?). And although I feel quite at home with my husband and my sons, it still feels weird to me that I am living here. As one of the ladies in the documentary said, it just feels like I am passing through. Everything is temporary. 

Here is the documentary for any who may be interested:http://www.hulu.com/watch/228077/made-in-china


Sam said...

as believers, we know we're foreigners in whatever land we're in....but we're moving. towards home.

Breka said...

After a cross country road trip and meeting many eclectic people before, during, and after I think part of the problem with feeling 'American' is that no one knows what that feels like because the experience is so varied. And while that sounds obvious and cliche, it's not really shown. TV? Movies? Books? Radio? I don't really identify with any of those 'this is what it means to be American' ideas. I wasn't raised in another country by any means, but I often feel a little like a foreigner. Or maybe just a misfit.