Every man has his mountain, I’m carving mine… (Korczak Ziolkowski)


Today I would like to describe very interesting experience shared by many immigrants. I would call it losing the part of your identity or just the difficulty defining where your home is.

I moved to U.S. over 12 years ago. I had no intention to stay here the very first time I came here. In fact, every summer when I was visiting the country during my summer break at University of Lodz in Poland it was supposed to be my last time here.  However, as a result of the chain of events and decisions I’ve been here for over a decade now. I have many friends of foreign origins and we all share the same experience.

My observation relates strictly to people at certain age who grew up abroad. The most important fact is that the person’s adult identity was created in different country and then that individual moved to another country. What happens is such adults (even young ones) had their personality created in particular environment, culture and circumstances with very specific values and beliefs and they feel special attachment to these.

Once we move to different country we can adjust incredibility quickly. Probably due to humans amazing flexibility. Also, immigrants have a newcomer perspective and can see many differences in another country. Therefore, very often we can quickly take advantage of the opportunities we notice in the new environments.

However, we can build great life in ‘new countries’ very often we experience this strong feeling of melancholy towards countries in which we were born. We tend to idealize them in our memories. We experience strong confusion that ‘the new’ country is not yet my home but my ‘old country’ is not my home any longer.  At this point I still say that I am going home when I travel to Poland but when I am there I somehow miss my life here.

It is important to have a sense of belonging to keep your inner balance. My answer to this problem is very simple: your home is where your heart is…

The attached picture shows the Lakota warrior Chief Crazy Horse. When he was asked where his land were he replied “My lands are where my dead lie buried.”  The Crazy Horse Memorial was started in 1948 by a sculptor (who in fact had polish origins) Korczak Ziolkowski and is located in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. I saw this sculpture in progress for the first time 17 years ago and till this day I am still impressed with it…  I respect Crazy Horse for his devotion while I nurture my home in my heart

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