Who am I?
For a large part of my life I have felt as an “Expat” without a homeland. My mother was born and raised in Egypt, she had both Austrian and Spanish roots, and was the third generation to be raised in the land of the Pharaohs. My father is German. My parents met, fell in love, and married in Cairo where I was born.
From the first year of my life, my father’s profession led us to live for periods of between three and four years in different countries of 4 continents. My childhood was filled with magical adventures, exotic landscapes and an incredible richness of different sensory impacts through smells, sounds, colours, and taste, … as well as hundreds of goodbyes, thousands of losses followed by new beginnings, new friends, customs and languages.
Each beginning also meant the mourning of what was left behind, a new exposure to the gaze of unknown people, a feeling of being strange, weird, or different, because of the colour of my hair, the colour of my skin, the language, the culture, feeling estranged again in the midst of strangers, having constantly to renew my sense of identity and my references.
Like a chameleon, I developed tools that helped me adapt to the environment with the sole objective of being accepted and avoiding being identified as the "new" kid.
During my adolescence, this ability shifted into a “dare to be different” that over time became my walls and my armor, while the vulnerable part of myself retired to an inner cave to appear only when I was overwhelmed and my emotions would run high expressing themselves with aggressivity or extreme vulnerability.
My parents’ divorce when I turned 16 was the last straw. And I lost myself … yearning to belong without knowing exactly to what, bonding without really bonding, feeling homesick for roots that I did not know the location of, searching eternally without knowing exactly what I was looking for, aching in a rebellious, often dependent and angry way.
I have been able to accept and integrate that my roots are not in a single place called “home, or country”.
Now I know and feel that my roots are in all those places in which I have grown up and that have contributed to the construction of my being. That I can find them in my entire family system, from my parents, to my grandparents and great-grandparents.
Spirituality has been an important part of my journey, although only recently have I allowed myself to acknowledge it and give it its rightful place in my life. Spirituality is what helps me connect, through all my 5 senses, with my true being and the essence of what surrounds me. It helps me to understand myself and my environment, to identify what I want, what I need, and / or where to direct my next steps… Just by allowing myself to feel, listen, taste, touch and see through my inner silence.