Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Puzzle

Walking towards the subway station, messaging an old friend of mine to plan a tea/dinner thing, he pointed out what I already knew through a rhetorical question: "So you live in Copenhagen, but your daughter goes to school in Stockholm and your boyfriend is in New York? That's gotta be a puzzle!" It stung a bit and I didn't confirm, I just told him that we could meet up next Tuesday after my faculty meeting. I looked forward to seeing him after so many years.

They always say it is much harder returning than to actually leave your 'home country' and I have felt that again and again, each time I have had to spend more than a couple of days here. This time is the most extreme, I have not lived in Denmark for fourteen years, not since my mid-twenties when I started my PhD (apart from four months of thesis writeup spent in an office). It is incredibly lonely in the middle of a lot of people because not only am I used to having a packed program when I'm in Copenhagen (you got 5 days to see friends, parents, brothers, cousins), I also don't actually have that many friends here anymore. So I have to rekindle old acquaintances, some whom I have followed on Facebook, others who I never thought I would have conversations with outside work. The former turning out to have changed personality and values, the latter turning out to be worth the non-work conversations anyway.

But yes, I try to work in Copenhagen, have a daughter in Stockholm and a date someone in New York. Tomorrow I get to see the former for a couple of days, in November the latter. At least I get to spend plenty of time in my office messaging people around the world.

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