Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Permanence of Moving

Ideas move. Goods move. And people move -- in huge numbers. Our world today is defined by massive movements of people. Think of the hundreds of millions of refugees fleeing from war-stricken countries, labour migrants, and even tourists. In the process of constant moving, borders are either broken down or built, identities are lost and created or reconstructed, traditional communities are uprooted, and cultures blend.

My life is also symbolized by constant movement. Just when I was getting comfortable with the idea of settling down here in Oslo, I had to relocate again for work purposes.

Looking back, better educational opportunities prompted me to move to a city at the age of 13. Years later, I transferred to Japan -- my second home country -- to pursue my BA and MA degree. After finishing my studies, I ended up in Thailand, my third home country, where I worked for almost three years.

I had 5 different postal addresses in my 7 years in Japan, and moved 3 times while in Thailand. Imagine the physical and emotional baggage one carries in each move? Unquantifiable. All the loves and friends lost, undelivered letters, keepsakes gone, emotions forgotten...the list goes on.

And now, after being in Oslo for only 2 months, we have moved to our new apartment. Yes, a place I can finally call home. Isn't it wonderful?

But, as fate would have it, I will have to transfer to Stavanger in a month or two for my new job.

Just when I'm ready to get rid of my emotional baggage and get comfortable, I felt the rug has been pulled out from under my feet, time and again.

Ironically, the impermanence of life is characterized by the permanence of change.

1 comment:

karmi said...

i know exactly what you mean. there's something to being a nomad. i'm so glad you have this blog. it makes it easier to keep in touch.