I feel like I can’t breathe in my own country.
It has been two years since I had moved, and this time coming back was a lot harder than the previous. I tried several times in the past few days to write about my conflicting feelings about being back – the extreme ends of my emotions where I get to spend time with people I deeply care about, and yet ever single fiber of my being is slowly disintegrating.
I wasn’t able to articulate how I felt, except that I feel like I’m on a limited oxygen tank, and I’m gradually running out of air every single extra second I spend here. It feels terrible when people I love ask me why I’m only back for a week after flying eight thousand miles once a year.
One week is all I can afford to have my senses constantly bombarded by the stimulation that exists in a small dense city with five million people.
I have tried to write about the complex feelings I have for this country and yet the words struggle to form even till today. Perhaps one day I will be able to, to find the words that describe both the new-found gratitude and ongoing resentment of a country that has given me the privilege that tons of other countries would have never been able to give, yet she is the same country that made me believe that life wasn’t worth living, that her people never stopped reminding me that I wasn’t worth a space in her society, because I couldn’t fit into the standard mould of how a contributing citizen should be.