Here to stay: When you realise you’re not moving back to America. Ever.

Posted on November 15, 2012 by yankeebean

There was a time in my life when I thought I’d move back to America one day. It affected me in little ways, for example, I only bought cheap IKEA temporary-seeming stuff and I never bought any region 2 DVDs…

There was always this belief in the back of my mind that one day I’d buy a one-way plane ticket and head home for good.

But being happy here kinda crept on me when I wasn’t looking.  I met my dude here, I got married here, this weekend I bought a dog here.  These are root-making things and my roots keep digging further and further down while I’m getting on with the admin of every day life.

I can almost pin-point the time when I realised that I might actually live in England forever.  It happened after living here for 3 or 4 years.  It wasn’t a single instant of realisation – it was more like I was on the beach of Blissful Ignorance and gradually growing waves of Realisation started rolling towards me.  I didn’t notice anything, but all of a sudden I seemed to be neck deep in the stuff.

Hand on heart (and at half mast) – I MOURNED for my country.  Oooooohhhhhh, did I cry.

I know I know I know, it sounds ridiculous and overly dramatic, right?  I’m sure you’re SHOCKED to hear that I’ve ever done ANYTHING OVER DRAMATIC, RIGHT?  (If I wasn’t typing, I’d be flailing my hands around right now)

And it’s not like I never cry – oh no – I LOVE to cry!  Crying is awesome!  Movies, TV commercials, old episodes of Extreme Makeover Home Edition – just hand me anything and I’ll cry on it.  But this particular crying episode was more of an extended edition, special-2-disc-set-with-commentary sort of situation.  It was epic Gandalf-you-shall-not-pass kind of emotion.

I wasn’t even miserable living in the UK at the time – I was happy!  What in the flippin’ heck sense does that make??  I was already playing for the UK team a lot of time and the terms ‘we’ and ‘us’ were creeping into conversation when I talked about English people.

But the realisation that I might never live a 20 minute drive from my Mom and Dad again was too much to handle.  Back then, the mere thought would send me fleeing from the room in search of tissues and Joni Mitchell songs.

I guess whenever you’re busy embracing something new, you’re also busy letting something go.

When I visit home-number-1 (America) now, it’s a really common question that people ask.  ”Do you think you’ll ever move back to America?”.  I always answer, “Who knows?  Only time will tell,” because I can’t know for sure that I’ll never move back.  I gotta confess – I LOVE that fact.  I guess there’s still a small part of me basking on that beach and ignoring the waves.

Are there any other lifers out there that know what I mean?

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What Others Are Saying

  1. Sarah Walker June 26, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Ahhh! Feels like a great big *hug* when reading your post. To hear someone else going through the same heart tearing emotions as I have is a breath of fresh air. To be understood is delightful!

    I have only been in England for 6 mos. Married a Brit only 2 months ago! This morning I was overcome with heavy homesickness!! Whew. Love the quaintness of England (been on my heart to live here for so long!) but being away from family is ridiculously hard. Whew!

    Much love fellow expat. Xxx

    • yankeebean June 26, 2013 at 8:58 am

      Thanks for your lovely comment, Sarah! It’s one of those things that I keep thinking I’ve conquered, but occasionally it still knocks me on my arse. Homesickness of doom!

      It does help to know we’re not the only ones, though. :)

  2. Peacefulyorkshire November 23, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Holy cow this post hit home big style. i tend to block these feelings out, and you pretty much wrote exactly how i feel about the subject. Especially relevant as I speak to my family on skype in America bc for the 8th year in a row that not there on Tgiving… :(

  3. brynzapoppin November 16, 2012 at 8:10 am

    I moved here as part of an adventure, not knowing whether I would love it or hate it. I’d only spent 2 days in the UK up to that point. I made the decision to stay about 3 months in.

    I don’t know what it is… I just feel more at home here than I do in Canada. I would definitely mourn for Britain if I ever had to move back.

    But sometimes I feel as though there must be something wrong with me. To move somewhere and never look back is a big step; one that very few people ever dare to take. I probably *should* be mourning for my native land and I probably *should* want to return some day.

    But I don’t.

    Someone please put the kettle on.

    • yankeebean November 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      Kettle’s on! :)

      I don’t think it’s weird – everyone has a place that’s home and this is yours. I’m glad you found it!

  4. Almost American November 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    My DH raised the question the other day of moving to the UK when we retire – and I was shocked to find how strongly I now consider the US to be my home. My blog should be called Barely British, not Almost American! But still, there’s a small part of me that hopes I will live in the UK again.

    • yankeebean November 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      I think there will always be a part of me that wants to live in America again, too…

  5. Jocelyn Nelson November 15, 2012 at 11:20 am

    When I got married here almost 8 years ago, we casually agreed to move to the States after about 5 years. Now that we have 3 kids, a mortgage, etc I think the chances of moving back are pretty much nil. How could it ever be possible when we are so settled here? The paperwork and expense of it would be mind boggling. Like you, it was a slow realisation and not an overnight decision. Mostly I am ok with it but it does make me sad that my kids won’t experience American things like Thanksgiving, and they won’t identify themselves as Americans despite dual citizenship. I also think about how great it would be to have my mom nearby to help with childcare sometimes.

    • yankeebean November 15, 2012 at 3:32 pm

      I don’t have kids yet, but if/when they appear, it’s going to be super trippy when they have English accents. :)

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