There I was again in my hometown, bidding my parents and myself goodbye.
Despite being already used to these disturbing moments, it is always bizarre to me to feel divided into two parts, in two hearts, in two lives.
The life I had as a single woman was marked by uncertainties, by a few obstacles, by the neuroses of a big city, but also by the countless little pleasures of my daily life that I have always welcomed. This same agitated life in my very young years certainly polished me into the kind of person that I am today: dashing and somewhat fearless.
Having now been married ten stunning years, I have today the peace of a happy family life of which I have always dreamed, the most valuable treasure of my own blood, and also my pride that I have, among other things, collected many miles of travel across the seven seas.
So, if all this is good, why do I have to cope with the feeling that something is still missing? Would this missing part be a part of myself, drifted away from me due to the inevitable separation of my two sides?
Side one: the big city girl, the fighter, used to being creative and flexible in order to achieve something in a place where the occasional family dramas put hot pepper in the soup, where the misfortunes of the newspaper headlines seem to repeat themselves, and where the desire to see something different is ever-present.
Side two: the ex-pat girl, the long-standing student, who is perhaps more astute, more polished, bolder and once in a while lonelier, given the constant obstacles in the life of an expatriate.
My gypsy blood and nomad soul as one are always looking for great changes, for new experiences, and that quest goes beyond merely having a satisfactory life.
But back to the dilemma of my two sides: I came to realise what was clear from the moment I left home for the first and only time. If I do not feel complete, it is not because of the life I have now, or the life I had before, but rather because of the two lives that cannot come together.
The Luciana from yesterday belonged to a single universe while the Luciana from today belongs to several.
What amazes me is that my genuinely Brazilian side, the one without any direct foreign influence, is still at my first home waiting eagerly for my next visit. And this side is there to stay forever, no matter how much I can and will certainly change over the years.
Some say that an accomplished ex-pat cannot speak neither the language of their home friends nor the one of his new city after many years living there, but I think we should have a good and deep discussion about this assumption some other day.
Despite the difficulties of having two parts of yourself, living in different continents, one thing is for real and absolutely gratifying: the possibility of living many lives in one.
Luciana B. Veit