Trivia fact, my favorite band of all time has to be Switchfoot. Lately I’ve been rediscovering their old 90’s albums such as Ode to Chin. I also have their song Fading West stuck in my head, especially now when the weather is cold, grey, and dull in England and I just want to go back to my roots, to a little state called California where I was born.
When I was little, I tried to see the best that was around me. I loved to see the clear blue skies every morning that stretched far and wide. I loved to see the mountains that looked purple in the distance. However I lived in the desert in a small town called El Centro in the Imperial Valley, where the winters were nice but summers would be at times 120 Fahrenheit (that is 48 Celsius for all you British folk). I can’t necessarily forget or miss the dry sand that the wind would blow in my face, and the overwhelming heat and light of the sun. You see, when people hear that I was born in California and lived there till I was 8, they think that I lived near the beach and I would meet celebrities all the time. The truth is that El Centro itself isn’t necessarily the nicest place to live. It’s a poor town in a county full of agriculture. But it’s cold and dull here in England and I miss California. I miss camping on the beach, hiking to see an oasis, and being able to drive one way for two hours to go to the beach and then the other way for two hours to go to the mountains to see the snow. I haven’t been in California for six years now and I want to go back to visit now.
13 years later and I’m across the ocean on a rainy little island called England. Norfolk skies also seem broad and vast with their mostly flat green landscape. The beaches aren’t necessarily warm but they are pretty and this time of year you can go and see baby seals. There is so much green, green and wet grass and leaves, and that was the first thing I fell in love with when I first came to England. The longer I stayed, the more I understood about the culture and the more comfortable it felt. England isn’t home but it feels more like home than anywhere else at the moment.
That has been the hardest part about moving. The main impact moving to a different country has had on me is the fact that I feel like I don’t belong anywhere, I don’t have a place where I can place my roots down permanently. I can’t sit comfortably in either culture; American or British. However the last few years I have come to appreciate the fact that I feel like I don’t belong anywhere. I am content in my restlessness because that feeling makes me curious, makes me brave, reminds of things of eternal value, and it humbles me. That feeling of restlessness makes me curious about other people, other cultures, and other worldviews that might differ from mine. That restlessness made me brave enough to travel out of the country to Austria at the age of 16 with just a friend. I’m reminded more and more of the eternal reward waiting for me, having Heaven as my home and the Earth just a place where I wander for now. I am forced to see the good values and the flaws of America and England and that is a very humbling experience. I miss California but I don’t regret moving and I don’t want to move back. I want to anchor my roots in people and who I am now and not where I am now or might be or have been.