But why does anyone do an international move?
To find themselves
or to run away.
Before I started dating S, I knew I’d move from the American South but that was to be a decidedly domestic decision between my beloved NYC and possibly Philadelphia.
Then when S and I got serious, so did the international-ness of next destination- Spain or Japan.
I used to give what I thought was a well thought-out answer:
I wanted to get in touch with my cultural roots.
I wanted to be in a big city again.
I wanted to be in a more creative city.
As the move-out date approaches after S comes out as trans, I begin to doubt.
I ask S on occasion, “We’re not pulling a geographic with this move, are we?”
She’s fulfilling her original goal of living abroad.
She’s had enough of America and her mostly very conservative and narrow-minded hometown.
I think if I name the thing I don’t want to be guilty of, it will keep it at bay. Except every time I want reassurance that I’m not running away, something in my gut sends an, uh-oh alert to my brain. As in, I’m definitely running away. Because these days more than simply wanting an adventure, I want to be in a new place. I want to consider my transsexual relationship away from the trappings of a small and (too) familiar town where everyone who finds out about S’s transsexuality has a pointed opinion they are not shy about sharing; usually it’s ultimately supportive (after many questions) but sometimes it’s downright mean.
A year and some months pass and I think about living in Japan.
I haven’t run away yet as I haven’t escaped the confrontations that come with a rigorous raking over of me and S’s future.
Case in point: we are no longer coupled and despite moments of wanting to jet on the immediate, I stay put. I work out the highs and lows of living in a far-off unfamiliar that still doesn’t feel like home. I’m also at peace knowing that I may not ever feel completely at home here; Tokyo was never intended as a final destination.
As for finding myself, that’s certainly happened and continues to, thank goodness. This life is an often funny and delightful little mindfuck in that just when I’ve figured something out, made the hard choice and breathed a sigh of, “Okay…that bit is finished,” I am shocked at what comes next.
So the next side of my never-ending relationship Rubik’s cube?
I’m just beginning to unpuzzle this one but it revolves around a specific notion of control as a new adventure begins…