We are leaving Beijing. Today we are the leavers. We've been the newbies, the stayers and it is our time to go.
Although Beijing isn't the perfect place, where is really, Beijing for my family
is home. The home I've made for the last 4-5 years. My expectation when finding out I would be leaving would be feelings of happiness. Although I do feel happy, it is more like a strong mixture of emotions, sadness, anxiety, and within the mix, happiness.
When I left the U.S., I left as a working mother of 1. When I leave Beijing, I leave as a stay at home mother of 3. If we go home for good my identity has changed. I am going from Beijing a different person in so many ways. If we go somewhere else it will be a new adventure with a new learning curve, and being the newbie again.
I feel like I am leaving family when I leave Beijing. When I leave I will be leaving my comrades behind, the friendships are different, stronger, tighter. Then I feel the guilt of feeling sad when I left my blood family behind to come here, and they miss us every day.
I now understand why TCK (Third Culture Kids) feel they belong nowhere, and are always missing important people. I have to imagine for my daughter these feelings will be intensified as she has few memories of life "before China." No school friends, no experiences that match her day to day life here. This is home, this crazy place, crazy culture and awesome experience.
And now I understand, you will leave a piece of yourself behind when you go, and every place that you go.