Expat guilt, something we have to deal withJuly 5, 2020
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Remembering the past helps me stay in the present
Although I am aware of the importance of living in the present, I still let myself charm by memories.
Since living abroad I find it important, from time to time, to abandon myself to nostalgic thoughts.
Stories, experiences and people, everything that has a special place in my heart and mind.
Perfumes and sounds suddenly find their way back in my life and transport me somewhere else, in space and time. Objects, meaningful and precious, are scattered around my house, providing a reassuring outline to my daily life.
Paradoxically, remembering the past helps me to lead a more fulfilling life in the present, to feel at home and increase my sense of belonging.
Memories have lost their painful side and have become an integral part of my current life, a constant reminder of who I am.
When I started to practice from home, I needed a safe space to work and I turned the playroom into my study.
Over the years this room has seen many transformations. My girls used to play here as children and it became a music room when they grew up, instruments, microphones and amplifiers replaced toys and games, giving the space a new energy.
The room stayed empty for a few years until it became my studio and my memories’ treasure chest.
At the risk of appearing too sentimental, I have covered the walls with art works created by my daughters over the years.
My desk belonged to my father-in-law, whom I never met as he died before I arrived in Australia. My shelves overflow with treasures I accumulated over the years, all equally important and meaningful.
Within these walls I am a child at my grandmother’s house, fascinated and intrigued by her ship in the bottle and a young woman, discovering the world and filling my pockets with stones and trinkets.
There are books in Italian, because it’s my language and lots of counseling books in English, on which I studied, to remind me of a new chapter.
There are gifts from loved ones and in each there is a story and a memorable detail.
There are my years as a mother, a wife, a friend, a daughter and a counsellor.
The memories of my past help me staying in the present.