I Was Born in The Wrong Country
Even that can be fixed
“Born in the wrong country,” he simply said.
“Sorry,” followed shortly afterward, barely discernable.
The aged Indian palm leaf reader seemed anything but upset when he smilingly confronted me with the news. Perhaps he had just annexed the word sorry to come across as somehow compassionate. In fact, I didn’t have the impression that it bothered him in any way.
“Nothing wrong with you,” he soothingly continued after sipping from a cracked yellowish teacup with a chipped handle. His eyes sparkled from underneath his tired lids as if he knew more. And the way he talked about it, well, it sounded perfectly sane — accurate and reasonable. Yes, I could have actually laughed about it or at least smiled. And yet, his few words were a slap to my face, a bullet to my heart. I was shaking and, at the same time, trying to sit up. Because all my adult life I’ve been feeling dis- and misplaced and consequently flawed. Not only geographically. And all he had to say was
“Nothing wrong with you.”
Was that it? When I questioned him where I was meant to have been born, he just mumbled, “Further east, further east!”
Instead, I saw the first ray of light in Germany. A shelter that became my parent’s home after they’d both barely managed to escape from what was formerly known as East Prussia when they were still kids. In lengthy detours, they had finally reached here—a country that felt safe but was nonetheless never truly theirs. Just like it was never really mine.
For as long as I can remember, a force has been pulling me away from the confines of Germany. And its gloomy past. Like a yo-yo that keeps tossing away its shell. Life has catapulted me out into the world and to many exotic places with no favorite names, no particular faces, no specific borders. Living out there has always made me feel so alive and utterly different compared to the place I’ve grown to call home.
Home — a word as void as a discarded cloak I had thrown over me out of necessity. As if in a hurry.
Not surprisingly, the distant lands have long since captured my mind. I quickly got addicted to their spaciousness, colors, fragrances, lightness, and their excess of vitality and joy that I’ve been craving so badly where I come from.
I’ve ventured out; witnessed a great deal of the world’s remoter parts. I was posted here and there and have undergone some extremer adventures. I have quenched my thirst for other places whenever it became too stifling in Germany. Still, I’ve always returned — just like the yo-yo that eventually has to snap back. Even if not for long.
A couple of years ago, I came in touch with relocation astrology. This unique astrology joins the planet with the individual observer’s energy graphs. Depending on the celestial alignment at the time of birth, these obviously vary from person to person. I vividly remember how the astrologer dived into the session.
“In Germany there’s nothing much going on for you energetically, darling, but further east, that’s where your music plays.”
That time, there was no sorry.
This reading was one of many that centered around my perceived rootlessness, my continuous pursuit of finding home which culminated in the palm leaf reading in India less than 2 years ago. I needed no more. For the first time in what seemed a lifetime, I began to feel okay in my well-traveled yet homeless skin.
Germany is a country where I often feel alienated and awkward. I’m regularly puzzled by my disturbing emotions that surface uncontrollably like wild mushrooms. I’m aware of the dense layer of energy that seems to surround me everywhere like a cumbersome hide. I can’t seem to breathe, don’t flow, can’t be of service the way I want to. I miss my wings and have no attachment to our scattered nature. I strain myself despairingly to belong and yet have never really made it happen. Here, I silently and secretly cry for help, which no one hears, and thus no one reacts.
“Born in the wrong country.”
Not even a full sentence, and yet it hit me with such unimaginable force. It was as if someone had finally ripped off the disguise and discovered another me underneath. All of a sudden, everything made sense. My frantic battle to gain a footing in Germany, my lame attempts to counter a constant feeling of shame that would catch up with me eventually, the primal fear of getting trapped in the paralyzing security of it all, and the sense of melancholy that hit me every time I landed from abroad.
I’ve twisted and turned for decades in order to fit in and belong somehow. I was mistakenly born in a country that never really advanced to feel like home to me. Or if, just physically, while my soul has taken up residence someplace else. It yearns to be on the road, freak out, do insane stuff, live and relish in other nations, soak in foreign cultures on a motorbike, and head in the direction of home.
So next time around, when I hear the bell begin to chime, I’ll finally hit the road with the full awareness that I was indeed born in the wrong country.
Everything can be fixed. This one, too, for sure!
Thank you for reading.