In the normal scheme of things, the framework that shapes your life begins in a routine way; you have one family until you marry or form your own, you have one school, one set of friends, one regular source of world events and a favourite TV channel at home. Combined, these things come together and form your normal, shape the person you’ll become. When each and every one of those bricks within the framework was fractured from the start, normal ceases to exist. Not much has changed since I left the UK. The conversations, shops, newspapers and TV shows I grew up with are still as prominent now. What’s changed since I left the UK, is me. I’ve changed. And now, those TV soaps and magazine shelves and interactions now seem as foreign and alien to me as a Mandarin movie; I can’t relate to the script. Maybe that’s what happens when you grow up as a chameleon. Changing shape and colour and pitch to blend into the surroundings you’re in.
Coming away makes going back hard. Things change, people, life moves on without you. At the same time, nothing changes, it all just stays the same. And when you change, when you go back, you’re not judging or critquing the things that have stayed the same – you’re questioning the changes you’ve made. But that doesn’t always show. And that’s the hardest part. It’s hoping people know that no matter how hard we try to do the whole British lets pretend stuff, that framework was flawed; never really built. And the framework that you built is one including it all, yet excluding it all. Normal ceased, then began but it’s my norm, not theirs but they fit in it anyhow. in the frame. Insh’Allah.