The transition from summer break to going back to school is a topic most teachers can relate to. Everyone feels some type of way whether its happy, sad, whatever. Imagine going back to school in an international school. Coming back is nothing like my first time coming here.
My first time here I was like a deer in headlights. The new climate, the environment, the different lifestyles, and the looks (the looks always made me self-conscious). I have gotten use to most of those things now. Sometimes I get frustrated at the Inshallah attitude toward things, but I’m learning to go with the flow. Inshallah is translated to Lord willing, but kind of means we’ll see. Will I have my residency card this week, Inshallah, or we shall see.
Living here has taught me patience and I have less stress because of it. Why get stressed out about things I can’t control. I might be going too far to say but our expectations are sometimes are biggest enemies. I want to take the Inshallah approach to life when things are out of my hands. Let’s face it what does complaining really do. When it is up to me I’m going to do my best to meet a deadline and keep my word. If it’s not up to me inshallah. It will get done eventually, maybe, one day.
Coming back to Kuwait is like coming back home. This is my home. It is weird that I’m calling home a place where the countries language is not my own. It is weird that I call a place my home that has a different culture and different religious beliefs. It is weird that I call this place home and I don’t have relatives nowhere near me and are not even compelled to visit me. However, It is the place I rest my head at night. It is the place where there are some similarities in religious beliefs. It is where I smoke shisha at lounges with my friends. Where we order food and watch Netflix. This is my home and it feels good to be back.
Home is definitely a state of mind. There are people who are less privileged than me who have richer home lives. It took me a while to figure that out. It took me moving to another country to figure that out because even when I lived in Texas I still claimed Maryland, where I grew up, like my hometown. Living in Texas was totally different than living in Kuwait. In Texas I had family, so I felt like I had two homes. It took me a while to convince my brain that this was home, but it’s not that I was I denial.
The deal is my mind was set on being here temporarily. Fulfilling a contract – working. How could a place that you come to work be home? The thought never crossed my mind but the point here is my brain was focused on the temporary. This can’t be home because I’m not going to be here for long. This is only temporary. Temporary is a state a mind too. I have found myself, especially as a teacher, saying that I am just going to do something temporarily, but it ends up being a habit. Or we say we are just going to work here temporarily and then we are going to do what we really want. A temporary home is still a home.
I think the saying is true that a house is not a home. A house without families that fill it with love and laughter is just an oversized box. It must be personalized, broken into so to speak. There must me dinners and personal corners. No matter how big or small a house is every house has a spot for everyone and a miscellany drawer. I am thankful for this oversized box that I get to eat, sleep, and repeat in.
Even though it took several months for me to feel comfortable living in Kuwait, I have definitely gotten used to it. What I like most about it is the food delivery service through the app. It is very convenient. I also have conveniently overspent money on ordering food because I have become lazy. I also like the novelty of living here. While people are thinking am I safe? I’m thinking I’m glad not anyone can buy a gun. I feel safe here. The only thing that I’m traumatized about are the two aftershocks I felt two years in a row at the same time. I’ve never felt that before in my life and it’s the most out of control feeling I have ever felt in my life. The only thing you can do is take cover. The worst thing you can do is take the elevator outside of your apartment in the middle of the night because you think the building is falling.
The bottom line is I feel comfortable in this foreign place. It may not be my hometown, but it is a place I feel at ease. I’m not looking over my sholder hoping I don’t get robbed. I can walk down the street by myself and not feel like I’ll be taking away. Despite all of the good feelings I have about living here i refuse to stay for summer. No one can ever convince me to stay here during the summer. It is way too hot.