7 days ago I was “there”. “There” is the place when you are not “here”, whereas here is home. Here is the place where you are met by the people you know, and walk down the streets you walked thousands of times. The first thing I did on the first morning back here – I put on the 10 cm high heels and went on running errands, yes, high heels make me feel at home.
What is home? Some say: Home is where you heart is. My home is where I am understood, shared, loved. Or maybe I don’t have a home yet, because my heart is free. Isn’t it amazing – to be free at heart? An unbearable lightness of being? Unbearable to many, home to me.
I was looking out of the taxi window with a smiling face speeding by the new buildings erected recently, warm autumn sun rays were beaming through the shield and I was amazed at myself – I was happy to be back. Be that the sweet aroma of the falling leaves, or the indian summer, or being back home.
I came back to a different setting: a city’s landscape has upgraded to new buildings, cafe, friend’s families have grown with new born babies, but the difference was in my eyes: I am seeing everything with an amusement of a newcomer. When you travel you kind of get used to eyeing things with curiosity and observation, picking up small details, putting them into a bigger puzzle, noticing things which sometimes locals do not pay attention to. Traveling changes your habit of taking everything for granted. So when I arrived in Almaty this habit just switched on again – I was looking at my home city with the amusement of an observer – who are these people? Look at their faces – they are smiling, aspiring, friendly.
While I was standing in the middle of the grocery , shopping, a thing I would do in any other city I’ve visited too, and I kept on noticing people passing by, as suddenly I realized that I am looking at them as if I’ve never been here before – who are you, people of Almaty? I want to know you again. I want to see the potential I haven’t seen before. I want to unlearn everything I knew about this city and fall in love with it again but this time for a different reason. I just feel there is a new generation of people, if you will, who are looking forward with hope, who want to grow for a good cause, who have an astute sense of justice and a strong creative potential. I want to know you all. I want to see the best of you, I want to share the best of me. Can we together make this city a better place?
People ask if I have changed? I haven’t, but I have changed the perspective I look from now at the things that might seem that haven’t. From time to time old ‘neurons’ are dragging me back, but then I ‘fly’ back in my memory and imagination to the point in my brain where the perspective is big and aspirational, such I teach myself to keep the ‘new eyes’ and new perspective, to remember all the people I’ve met, places I’ve seen – so to remember that everything is relative and everything is a matter of perspective. Indeed, at times I get a feeling of loneliness, but only until the moment I talk to a friend who picks up my outlook, an idea, an experience, and that is the time when I know that this perspective is good, because people do not resist, but want to be there. That way I understand that change is a ‘flip’ away.
Let’s get started.