There’s a book I simply fell in love with, this summer – “My invented country”, written by Isabel Allende. Famous novelist living in United States now, Isabel Allende is a native of Chile, where she had lived and worked as a journalist until military dictatorship was established. She immigrated to Venezuela first, then , after a few years, moved to the US. It’s a wonderfully written memorial book. And the main idea is that, moving from one place to another, from one country to another, living far away from the place where she was born, she didn’t feel there was a place to infuse her roots, to feel she belongs to. So she had created a country in her heart, her invented country, and infused her roots there – and that’s the moment when she felt relieved, knowing she will be good with herself everywhere.
The key to everything is just there – in our heart, no further.
It wasn’t easy to leave my native country. Actually, it was awfully hard, not hard. Felt like breaking in a million pieces. It was a minded made decision, with strong, good reasons, yet I could only hide, not stop, the pain from my heart. I came to Norway knowing no one except my husband. First year was extremely hard. Felt like taking off my roots and have no place to infuse them – not belonging to any place, that was the feeling.
We need to buy a house in Romania, I told my husband. So we did. Having the impression that, that way, our roots were still infused there.
Of course they weren’t. They are not infused in Norway, either. Isabel Allende was so right – our happiness, our inner peace, our feeling of good with ourselves, do not depend on a place, whatever that place means – a house, a country, anything. “At home” is where we are happy. Where we have with us people we love. Where we smile because of small joys and are grateful for them. Where we build memories.
And this can happen anywhere in the world, as long as your heart is open. Luckily, we have this chance – to move, to experience, to learn. To get out of our comfort zone and try to become the best version of ourselves. Up to one point, for us, this happened in Romania. Now, it happens in Norway. Maybe in a few years good things will take place somewhere else, maybe we will stay here forever. I don’t know and I stopped making plans, for a while. Until I left, my life was carefully organized – personal and professional targets, hit one by one. Until one day, when I had a car accident because I was awfully tired, working way too much, to reach goals. Best things happened in my life when I stopped doing this.
I don’t feel like not belonging anywhere anymore. I belong to every place where I’m happy. Where I have with me people I love. Where I live experiences and build memories. I’m trying to learn good things in every place I get, from all the people I meet. To live, not just to be alive.
Long time, I felt my native country like on open wound. Talked about it with tears in my eyes, sometimes. I don’t feel like that, fortunately. I left places, but people we love, our memories, our experiences, are always with us, in our heart. We haven’t left anything, actually. Just went forward.
I will always feel my native country running through my veins, and I’m laughing when I realize I act exactly like a Romanian. When I try to explain something and I’m enthusiastic, it happens to raise my voice – I try to control that, ok, but it still happens, it’s my Latin blood:))). I cook good but not always healthy food – some pork vegetables, as my father says:))). I strongly hug – Norwegians don’t do this. And I wear “ia”, the traditional Romanian shirt, with so much love.
I’m very grateful to Norway. We’ve had here chances we never had in our native country. The system works, you feel respected, valued, it’s like a contract where both parts respect their obligations. It’s not stress or not so much – we had to get used to this:)) Nature is magnificent, and we had the chance of meeting so good people – Norwegians, Romanians and not only.
But the happiness, the roots, are in my heart. And I think that’s a 0 point in life – when you realize your happiness does not depend on places, or things – it depends on you only and your personal choices. Made with good, deep thinking, but always with heart.
P.S: Few days ago, someone asked me what makes my happy. Small things, I replied, sounds like a banality, maybe. But I truly think this is life about. About quality time with people we love, good books, heartfelt music, sunsets, flowers for no reason, cooking with mamma on Christmas Eve, walk without shoes on wet grass, rainbows, coffee with a good friend, homemade pancakes on Sunday morning. And many more:)