How moving can benefit personal growth and reflection

Can you ever untether from where you were born? 

I just learned a new term today, “cultural bereavement,” I’ll explain more in a bit.

For me, it feels a bit like my roots are forever in LA. But then NYC raised me — at least the adult version of me. Seattle slowed me down enough to heal me — not to say there’s more to nurture though. Then the pit stop in CDMX sparked a fire in me.

To the friends that I met in Seattle and now get to call family. To the practitioners that supported my healing. My freaking therapist of 3 years that opened my eyes to existential phenomenology and intersectional feminism.

Have you ever parted ways with a therapist?

And had their support to look for the next therapist? It is a wild feeling. Like, “we’re growing apart now but I’m gonna miss you! And won’t ever talk to you?”

I’m not sure if there’s an English word for what I’m feeling. Or perhaps it’s a new feeling just for me. A new language for belonging.

What is belonging?

The journey continues. Moving provides me with so much opportunity to reflect. To shed. Literally shed belongings that are not necessary. But also parts of me that are “safety shapes” from my past.

Where does one belong? What does belonging look like? Or feel like?

And why am I always in question of it?

I’m writing a book, more like short stories, but this..this concept of belonging has been a theme all my life and it follows me on each journey I take. And of course, it’s making it’s way in there.

What is cultural bereavement?

Culture shock or culture conflict — the experience of the uprooted person or group that is related to the loss of social structures, cultural values, identity, and an almost unnatural attachment to the past. I have a very strange placement in this. My family uprooted themselves from El Salvador more than 50 years ago and my roots are in LA. But there is still this lingering feeling for me of cultural bereavement. Of belonging. Of questioning who am i?

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