23 12 2016

Collision of worlds

I can only live in one world at a time. It's the strangest thing. I go about my Dutch life happily, toast my bread in the morning and top it off with chocolate sprinkles, pedal alongside the water on my rusty student bike while the icy wind strokes my cheeks, and I sit in huge hospital lecture halls all day. I come home, toss my boots and big shawl in a corner, put on my silly slippers and make my favorite spice tea. It's a sea of mindless rituals, day in day out.

I love it! I look at myself from a distance, at the humming student eating a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch, sitting cheerfully alone at a big table, and I'm thankful. Yet, sometimes I hardly recognize myself.

I'm surprised that this person is still the same as the bare-footed, sweaty, and big shorts-wearing teenager you could find trudging through the mud in Cameroon. The high-schooler who filled up every lunchtime with a prayer time, mentoring session, or StuCo meeting. I catch myself dreaming often, fond memories flashing through my head, a smile on my face as I remember how everything used to be. So many pieces of my heart are still there, permanently left behind in my old hometown, 5000 kilometers South. A completely different world.

The minutes slip away as I stare at my computer's screensaver, a slideshow of all the decent pictures I ever took, memories frozen in time. I'm lying in the tall grass under a palm tree with my American friends. I'm wearing a winter coat and making a snowball. I'm holding a guitar and singing on the familiar stage at school. I'm holding my certificate of Biology with my Dutch friends. I'm hugging my Cameroonian sister, wearing a graduation cap. I'm held by the guy I love in my bridesmaid dress. My worlds collide.
They collide, and I see bits of my heart scattered all around the globe. My heart is here too. And I realize I don't want to turn back time to the good old days. It's the same person in all of those pictures: same me, different worlds. I love it all.

I treasure the mindless rituals, the unexpected joys, the adventures with the people I've grown to love. I want to enjoy every moment while I'm in this world. Who knows how many more worlds are waiting?
Newer: How will they know
Older: White walls