Friday, May 19, 2006

Countdown to a new life

In less than 7 days, everything in my life will change. Or at least, that's how it feels. Half the time, I wondering 'what am I doing'. I spend the other half wishing time would hurry up and just get me there.

I'm moving to the Shire. Aka, Scotland.
Why? Cause last year, I met someone and well, we fell in love and so I'm moving to be with him, marry him, and start our lives together. It's somewhat of an odd thing to do, if you came from where I did. Haitian Americans who grew up poor during the turbulent and racially violent '80s of Miami just don't go off to someplace like Scotland and marry a Highlander!
But I am.

Funny, I think I was always heading in this direction; this place where many like me used to go-- like back in the 1920s, when the world was starved for jazz and all things black and new (at least for them). Course, many indulged in the croissants, absinthe and wild Parisian nightlife while I'm headed for damn-near tundra-like conditions with haggis and whiskey served at my table. Nevertheless, I always wanted more for my life than what was suppose to be.

Let's put it this way: even when I was young, I was aware of the connection between old age and regret for many. And I wanted none of that. I saw men and women who were brave enough to leave their homeland, the places that they knew and "made sense" to come to another country for the hopes of a better life. Yet, as time went on...I don't know, something happened to many of them. They stopped trying for more and settled to a very simple life, preferrably one surrounded by others like themselves, from their homeland. Often, they only recreated what they already knew just on a microcosm scale; a "Little Haiti" to soften the harshness of a foreign world, a foreign life. That included my parents.
Even then, watching my parents and their friends slowly becoming more and more afraid of the world, of life, I knew that could not, would not be me.

When I'm old, I thought to myself, and crapping in my Depends diaper, I want my memories to keep me laughing and smiling. I want to be that old woman that others look at and wonder why is she so happy in her decrepit shell that only deteriorates faster with each passing minute.

But it is scary to live. It's hard to take a chance on something with no guarantees. Here I am, just short of finishing my PhD in historical archaeology, fell in love with a Highlander and I'm taking off to be with him.

Any job prospects? Nope. Do I even know if I can get an academic job in Scotland. Uh uh. Is there at least a racial and ethnic community for me to bond with and find my own "Lil (black)America"? Yeah, I wish!

I will be the one of the few if not the only negro in the Shire.

And I know...I know my friends and family are thinking I'm a little nuts. I mean, I know they are happy for me but they still must think I never shook that thing that made me such a weird kid.

To some, it's off enough that I'm marrying a white man. "But a Scottish dude, Peggy? I mean, damn! They're only a 1,000 years out of the cave! Shit, they still wear skirts! What about his teeth? You know about them Brits and their jacked-up teeth! If he had to be white, couldn't you stick with an American?"
Well, yeah, my man does wear a kilt on occasion but his teeth are fine. They're all there and facing the right way.

For others, it's the idea of being alone without the support network of other blacks. "Damn, girl! If you were moving to London, I could understand. At least we know there are black folk around. But Scotland? And ain't it really cold there too?! Don't you wear a sweater if the temp. drops below 75? You know that don't make no kinda sense."

And what can I say in response? Not much.
Then they continue, "Have you even seen a black person when you were visiting?"
"Yes, one. A guy."
"One black person in the town?"
"Uh, one black person period."

Then there's the look of horror on their face.

"One black person in 6 weeks?!"
In my most sheepish tone, "Yeah."
"Well, where was that?"
"In the train station in Glasgow."
"Hmph! Yeah, the brother was trying to get the hell up outta there as fast as possible! Girl..." and then I just get the head shake, slowly from side to side with the pursed lips and and heavy sigh, to say 'I don't know what to tell ya'.

Guess there's not much to tell me. I'm just going with my heart. And bless my peoples, they are supporting me through my driven ways.

It is going to be a bit lonely. As much as I love Andy, I need my racial community. I especially need my friends.

But I'm going. I have to go. I have to find my life on my terms.


At May 24, 2006, 3:04:00 PM, Anonymous Kevin Aristide said...

Let me be the first to say bye or atleast to write on this wall. Well i am going to try to get out to the shire. Have a safe trip and make sure you keep in touch. Your cuzo Kevin.

At May 24, 2006, 3:42:00 PM, Anonymous apen said...

dear Peggy, this is Apen, i am already embracing you from the Mediterranean part of the other side....Shire seems remote to me also, but now that you are there the place sounds more from Barcelona to that part of the island are cheap I belive, considering the amount of people from that area that come here to celebrate anything and get drunk!!!
in any case....the movement and the path that you are taking will surely change your life but this is why humans are in this short span of make our decisions following our body, heart and mind at the same time....
hugs and love and the best for the trip

At May 24, 2006, 4:37:00 PM, Blogger girlblue said...

Embracing life is never a mistake! You should serve as an example for us all to live life to its fullest while we can and if that takes you to the shire, so be it. Just get into London and see some black folks every few weeks or so ; )

At May 25, 2006, 2:21:00 AM, Anonymous susan (Alcober) said...

HAY UHURA!!! It's me Saavik! Scotty forwarded this to me. Nice to hear that all is well with you. Now all your friends are going to see what nerds we were in high school. What a wonderful exciting time in your life. God bless!

At May 25, 2006, 9:31:00 PM, Anonymous Monkey Boy said...

Peggy, I wish you all the best on your new life in the Shire. I will miss you...but not too much because I know you will be happy! What more can one ask of life for a great friend like you.

The Technu spewing Monkey Boy

At May 27, 2006, 4:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miss you? I've been missing you for almost 20 years now. It really no longer computes as "missing" anymore.
I am honored to be included on the list of folks you are thanking, only I should be thanking you. What a beautiful example you set for all of us! I love you Peggy!

Linda Sue

At May 28, 2006, 6:30:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you, Peggy. You are brave and strong even when you don't feel that way. You will be happy in your new home. You've had so many homes that you've made your own ... Delaware, Columbia, and Austin. You will find Perth home b/c that is where love is. The rest doesn't matter so much. And we are only a phone call away. I'll be sure to visit. Love you,

At Jul 2, 2006, 2:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your website. It has a lot of great pictures and is very informative.

At Jul 18, 2006, 7:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very pretty design! Keep up the good work. Thanks.

At Jul 21, 2006, 5:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At Jul 23, 2006, 4:29:00 AM, Blogger Sid said...

Just found your blog through Matt at Abstract Gourmet.

Sigh. You are living my dream! I hope it all works out for you!

Great blog!

At Oct 24, 2009, 3:26:00 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Hi Peggy.. Fellow Haitian-American adventurer here. Currently living in Algiers for work and couldn't be happier. Love your writing and insight. A lot of it touches me in a personal way. I heard of your blog from Funky Brown Chick and just read your first entry..I know I have a lot of catch up reading to do and I'm looking forward to it. Take care!


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