On not belonging

On not belonging

I would love to start this post by saying there are no words, but that would be a lie. There are so many words. Words upon words upon words.

This morning I woke up an alien. A foreigner. An immigrant. A displaced soul in my own home. My own home. Not the bricks and mortar of Dave’s beige flat, but the city that sits just the other side of those bricks. I had this overwhelming feeling of being unwelcome in the place you’ve chosen. The place you gave your heart to. I cried. I actually sobbed.

And then I went out. And it was worse than I could have possibly imagined.

You see yes, I am technically an immigrant here. It was natural I should feel disappointed at this choice. Rejected. Sad. But I get to leave. I can go home, to my old home, if I want to. There’s still a home that wants me, even it’s not the one I’ve chosen. I’ll still belong there, I’ll still be loved. That’s not the experience for most of my friends here in London. They’ve woken up and found themselves even more of an alien that I am.

Here in the capital the desire was for unity. To stay and make changes from within. To remain connected to the wider world. But further afield that argument seems to have fallen on deaf ears and closed minds. The mood and the tone of the arguments to leave the European Union has been unpleasant. Echoes of a Europe from almost a century earlier. There is genuine fear and there is an uneasy quiet. These people who were born here are now aliens who are unable to leave. They look at their surroundings and see the seeds of hate buried in ignorance and fed by old white men.

I cried when I woke up for myself, for my future in this country that didn’t want me. But I’m crying now before I go to sleep for my friends who have had their futures taken away. Taken by the casual decisions of a privileged few who have harnessed the hate of extremists and fooled the poor and disaffected.


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