This morning Facebook reminded me of something I wrote four years ago: ‘It’s hot. It’s sticky. It’s noisy. It’s complete chaos.’

Knowing my house was in Calle Casanova in Barcelona at the time, one might think there was another protest or referendum of some kind happening on the streets below my French windows. There might have been, actually, but it wasn’t about that. I instantly remembered the disorden in which I was living, and the uproar happening on my insides. I was packing up my stuff, our stuff, and getting ready to do something I vowed would never happen: move back to The Netherlands.

I had been saying my goodbyes for weeks, months even. Saw the city through different eyes. Remembered all things that Barcelona life had given and taken away. It’s the place where I’ve lived my darkest days and was my happiest ever self. It was home.

These last few days, seeing the news, reading the papers and talking to Barna-people, I’m a witness to the division between the people, the people and the government, both regional and national, their frustrations, them not being heard, people hurting each other, scolding at one another for wanting something else, the unspoken for violence. When I think of what watching Spanish television is like, it’s actually really no surprise the way this is unfolding. Because on tv no one listens to the one who has the floor. Everyone just starts yelling and screaming to be heard. But as no one listens, no one hears. (*)

It hurts to see my home crumbling like that. No one wishes chaos upon their safe place.

Leaving my life and everyone and everything in it behind was maybe the second hardest thing I ever did. There was a constant ache for so long, but the triggers to my tears have become less through the past four years. Building a new life requires letting go of the old one. It takes time. Lots of effort. Lots of going with different flows, trying to find one that suits mine. Chance meetings with lovely human beings, taking care of old friends, making new ones. It’s exciting to build traditions and find joy in moments and places I never thought of before. It’s hard but oh so rewarding to make sure me and my boy are as comfortable as possible in our own skin. It may still be chaotic, but then again, I might not want to live without it.

And in the meantime I hold on to the thought that someday, somewhere, I will come home.

(* Curious side note, as today the city I now live in celebrates being freed from the Spanish in 1574.)