To belong

I’m getting close and I can smell it. It’s going to be five years since I came to Romania for the first time.

The grey sky talks about it. The refreshing wind after a pretty hot summer. The smell of humidity. Rain that is warning to fall on me. The leaves that can’t wait to make their fashion show already.

Cambridge defines the verb “to belong” as to be in the right place or a suitable place, and to feel happy or comfortable in a situation.

As I listen to Lianne La Havas, I connect to her music. She sings: “did the world get a little bit colder? Not wiser just a little bit older? So slow that we’re bound to fall over. Did the heart grow a little bit harder? Too much, too late, too far, too gone. But wasn’t it kind of wonderful?”

Daughter of a Greek father and a Jamaican mother. My parents are both Peruvian, but there’s this, this one feeling…

I hear parents and their children talking out in the streets in Romanian. Though I understand, there’s this, this one feeling.

I see the trees outside the block, almost touchable from my window. Though I connect to nature, there’s this, this one feeling.

I have Albert, the cat, next to me. Though it reminds me of my own dog back in Peru, there’s this, this one feeling.

The chilly wind makes me slightly shiver and sigh profoundly. I can almost hear my own heartbeats. And my feet are calling me to go run the streets and get overwhelmed with thoughts and memories.

This, this one feeling. My mind wants to trick me and calls it “belonging”. So then I ask myself: Do I? Like, do I belong? Here? Anywhere?

But did I ever belong anywhere? When I was a kid and playing out there in the garden, did I ever think about this? When I cried in class in kindergarten, did I do so because I felt it wasn’t where I was supposed to be? That rather than learning I should have been back on my mother’s lap? And if so, is it the same now?

If a Romanian asks me if I feel Romanian, I say I am Peruvian. If a Peruvian tells me I don’t look or sound Peruvian anymore, I say I might feel Romanian. Is this a struggle for some immigrants?

I am not sure if I would call it a struggle or a blessing. Maybe a blessing because it pulls you out of reality. How’s that a blessing? Well, another post might explain it ☺️


Published by Esteban Quevedo

I am a full-time observer. I enjoy reading while having a cup of coffee. I am an amateur runner. I love listening to silence and most of all: getting lost in time.

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