Difficulties of Emigration

I usually write of NY in enthusiastic terms, since this is how I feel about the place. It would have been dishonest of me, though, not to mention the biggest discontent of living outside of your own country. Namely, missing your family and friends – a feeling that overcomes you particularly during the holidays. Those who chose to live as immigrants don’t usually discuss the subject or don’t speak too much when they bring it up. The reason is simple: to live as an immigrant is difficult enough to make it also the topic of your conversation. Lucky are those who have the possibility, the means and the time to simply get on the plane and spend their holiday with their family – the rest of us has to satisfy ourselves with the thought that it may one day happen.

Ever since I have chosen emigration myself, I have reflected upon it and it’s certainly too large a topic for a single blog post. There’s one thing I’d like to share here, though. If living in the country of your choosing is not an all-consuming dream that dominates your days, or if you have never dreamt of leaving the place you were born in – simply don’t emigrate. Sure, there may be things in your native countries that you don’t like – and I assure you there will be as many disagreeable things in the country you choose. Still, if those native discontents don’t make you wake up every morning with the thought: “I am miserable here, I need to find a different place for myself” – then simply start to accept them, or fight to change them at home. I still think it would make everyone good to live abroad for a while – just to put things into perspective and to see your own country anew, both in positive in negative way. It’s good to see how other nations live and it’s even better to learn that there is no one single truth or one “right” way of living. As for me, my own patriotism has paradoxically increased ever since I moved to NY, and is now much stronger than when I was back in Poland.

Still, if you don’t have that gnawing feeling of belonging someplace else (which I’ve had ever since I was a teenager) than do all you can to carve out a livable space for yourself in the country of your origin. I can tell you – being an immigrant is the most difficult state you can imagine. And missing your loved ones is only one of its discontents – even if it’s the key one.