I remember the period when this country seemed bleak, dismissive and heartless.
It wasn’t just about me, such as the experience of unexpected challenges and the rejections that I see as unjustified…
It was also about me looking at faces and empathizing with older people.
During my studies, I also cared for older people in their cozy homes.
Most of them seemed very lonely to me and I perceived two extreme examples:
🔸️The extremely friendly and very, very curious people who radiated their inner love and warmth to the outside world despite loneliness.
I will not forget one remark: one day my 95-year-old client touched my leg and remarked: “What fine stockings you wear.”
He was amazed when I told him that this was my skin and not stockings. The kind gentleman has been dead for a long time, but he gave me new confidence.
🔸️The extremely embittered elderly people with a very dismissive attitude. As a neighbor “unbeatable”. When you meet them with love, they also become soft in the heart; also a wonderful realization.
I used to think it was because of the loneliness they experience here.
Of course, I also secretly “condemned” their daughters and sons at that time; how can they neglect their parents?
I compared it directly to the place where I grew up. I was naïve. Very naïve.
I did not consider the context. I perceived only one situation and immediately condemned.
Now I understand a lot better.
Back to my promise: “I don’t want to grow old here.”
I noticed how this seemingly simple sentence inhibited me, because I had:
🔸️hardly truly recognized opportunities that this country and the people in this country (from all over the world) bring with them,
🔸️set my focus on the negative
🔸️always compared directly with Kenya, which did not bring much
Fortunately, some things happened, both painful and gratifying, which changed my mind.
Luckily, I learned to stand by my story and admit to myself that sometimes I inhibit myself.
Luckily, I met wonderful people here who gave hope to “non-locals” with little things.
Luckily, I learned to remember how I want to be old. With the technological developments, I will certainly not die alone. 🙂
Luckily, I learned that I was just scratching the surface. I am allowed to go deep – to search deep within myself and to have deeper conversations to find the gems.
And yes, I’m getting old here, but not bitter. 🙂 You?