An immigrant in social distancing


Yesterday was full of some firsts for me.  I found a work out program to work out from our flat while our gym is closed.  This isn’t new but working out with a husky at my feet trying to play with me because I am active is something new.  My work out included hopping around the toy he was throwing at my feet and adjusting to where he might jump in next to me.  I tried red meat on purpose for the first time in 20 years…still not my fav but who can be so choosy at a time like this? I worshiped online moving from one service to another and delighting in seeing my friends and communities from afar and being able to be present to them in a new way.

The biggest new thing for me yesterday was getting to be on a zoom call with my family in Oregon.  All three of my younger bros and their families, my parents, and my aunt and uncle all made it work.  I had a huge smile most of the time as the kids were delighted in seeing us all. I have been feeling so far from home during this whole thing that this hour on zoom made all the difference in the world.  My family is very close…we actually love hanging out with each other.  We gather at every birthday, holiday and basketball game in between.  We show up for each other and sometimes we just hang out because we like each other.  I already facetime with my nieces and nephews every weekend but to zoom with everyone all at once reconnected me with what I have been missing so deeply.

Being an immigrant far from home at a time like this is hard to say the least.  Ana and I have been talking a lot about the feeling of massive anxiety when we think about if we need to get home and how that could play out.  Would it be a massive pain to get home? Would we be able to get home and would we be able to get back to our place in Germany?  We try to take it moment by moment but when you are an immigrant in a foreign land these thoughts come fast and often. Plus by not being in your homeland, this isolation feels even more isolating.  The comforts of being close to family and what we know are not present and really can’t be.  We are lucky that we have each other and we are both immigrants who understand the anxieties and pains of being so far from home.  Ana and her family have been facetiming everyday to make sure they can see each other and update each other.  I have been texting and now we have technologies that allow us to all be in the same space without being in the same space.  Thank God!

For those who are expats/immigrants out there during this time, know that I am sending you love and light because this moment in history makes it that much harder to be away from home and in a new land.

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