Celebrating the 4th of July outside of the US has always been a bit anti-climatic for me. This Independence Day however, is different because we just got confirmation from my husband's job that we're moving to New York in September!
I grew up in New York after having emigrated from Haiti at age 6 but since then, I left for college, moved to Europe and got married.
To go 'back home' to my family, with a family of my own, is a little surreal. When I left, I was a wide-eyed 17 year old, anxious to break free from my parent's strict household and now I return as a parent myself, anxious about how we will be raising our kids in a different environment.
Europe (Berlin, London (which is no longer part of Europe?!) and Geneva) is where I learned to be an adult; where I created my family, my career and my business. It's where I really felt proud to be black and more specifically Haitian (which is weird because growing up in New York in 90's you'd risk getting beat up if you claimed Haiti). It's where I assumed the role of token black woman and I made it a priority to break down the negative stereotypes people had of people who looked like me (more on this subject in upcoming blog posts).
I feel like Switzerland will always be our base as a family because it has stayed true to its reputation as a place of neutrality. Being a multi-lingual, multi-national, interracial family, my husband and I left our respective countries and ended up creating our own in Geneva which was foreign for the both of us.
This picture of our kids in a cardboard box perfectly represent my mixed emotions about our move. Of course I am happy about returning back home where my kids can talk to their grandparents face to face and not just on FaceTime, get free babysitting (lol), and have our chance to live the "American dream". But I'll be leaving behind some great friends, amazing in-laws who live in neighboring countries, and a long overdue natural hair movement (in which I will go into further detail in a future blog post about the role I played as ‘The Hairoine’ and helping forge the movement) which is spreading like wildfire. Technology has made it much easier to stay connected though and that's why I feel like I've always managed to stay in the loop with what's going on the US.
I'm coming home.
Have you ever had to move after being settled somewhere for quite some time? How did you deal with the transition? Let a sista know by leaving a comment below!