We have all heard the term “you can never go home again”.
I was talking to one of my best friends recently about how when we look back at our childhood, the sense of freedom, the taste of fresh fruit, the thrill and the adventure of the simplest things in life, can never be recreated, will never feel as good, because our memory makes the experience almost impossibly perfect.
They said that even if you taste the same fruit now, it will never taste as good as the fruit you picked from your own tree, on your own farm, when you were just a kid.
I read recently that the term “you can never go home again” means, in general terms, “that attempts to relive youthful memories are never as fulfilling as during their initial creation.”
I find so much truth in that sentence…
Portugal, was my new beginning, so I see Portugal as an amazing country, not just because of the country itself, but more because of what it brought out in me, or what it allowed me to create for myself.
But I always thought I would go home…one day…
But can I?
Mum says I should take one more year to see if I get back competing internationally, and if not I should just ride for fun and redirect my life.
She says of course that I should do this redirection at home.
At some point I stopped understanding what ‘home’ actually meant for me.
Three years ago I went back to Australia, and I didn’t feel at home. I felt like the people in my life were there, but that I was visiting. I was a visitor to Australia, and then I came back home, to Portugal.
I know people who start new lives in different countries, and consider that country home for the rest of their lives.
But, I was talking to an international friend recently who said that yes they do start again overseas, but usually it’s a move with family, or a partner, and they aren’t alone. This friend admitted that he feels alone, and he wants to leave Portugal…
I’m not someone who feels alone. I think you don’t have to be alone to feel lonely. I know people surrounded by family and yet they still feel completely alone.
But if I’m honest, life is easier in Australia. I often romanticise moving overseas, but recently mum asked if I want to move to another country in Europe to ride, and I said honestly, “I could not do it alone again”.
I needed it at the time when I first came, but moving alone to a new country, is like moving house, except this new house is underwater and you have forgotten how to swim.
So mum is right about one thing, it’s Portugal or Australia…She says too that the only way to really know is to go home and see.
Of course my first option would be to get back competing and see where life takes me. Batialo is working with me again, and pilates has helped a lot. My new pilates instructor says that I am strong, not strong for my injury, but strong in general…I believe it!
I hope very much to do Grand Prix next year around Europe…And I hope even more so, for my home base to be Portugal…
But I’m lucky that at least in theory, I can ‘go home again’.
Last time I went to Australia it took just ten days to know it wasn’t home anymore…Has that changed now?
Well, there is only one way to find out! But one thing is for sure, Australia, the family farm Horseshoe bend… will never be the way it is in my childhood memories, and depending on what part of my childhood I am remembering that can be either a good, or a bad thing.