My experience immigrating to a foreign place is inextricable from my experience growing up. Somewhere along the way I learned the habit of recoiling from disappointment by lowering my expectations to match. I shrunk myself in space and time, never delaying others by holding the subway door open. As I practiced attending to the present and the internal, I dissociated from planning for the future and trusting the external. What’s beyond my arm’s reach is not my home and I don’t belong there. If I don’t have time to make a vegetable available by growing it myself, then it doesn’t deserve to be my comfort food.
People say they don’t recognize their country anymore. I just realized that in my case, it’s myself that I don’t recognize anymore.