The last few days have been spent packing and getting ready. I'm almost done, with just a last few things to put into boxes and then the move on Monday. After that, it's a just a couple of dinners with friends and I'm on my way. The question of the moment from anybody who learns that I'm heading back to the States is whether I'll be coming back. I'll give the same politically motivated answer I've given them: "I currently have no concrete plans to stay in the US," which means exactly that: nobody so far as offered me a job that would keep me in the States, which isn't to say that it won't happen sometime in the next eleven months. At this answer, there's a common look of knowing, wistful resignation that comes into their eyes that suggests that, in my position, they wouldn't be likely to come back here. I've come to expect this from my American and UK friends, all of whom feel "stuck" here for various reasons usually related to spouses or professional miscues. But what is surprising is how many Danes also look at me with a sense that they couldn't imagine why I would come back, almost suggesting that they wouldn't either were it not for the fact that they are Danish and this feels like Home to them.
I have mixed feelings about Denmark right now. In my life, I have been intensely, overwhelmingly HAPPY here at times and I've also been the most miserable I've ever been in my life here. This year here has been an unequal mixture of both for me, though I suspect more of the latter for Sara. I've some to realize that in many ways, I'm indelibly American, even though it fills me with dismay given the current state of things. I feel a bit like I'll always be caught in between, able to see the drawbacks and difficulties of living abroad while also fed up and disgusted with many of the things that makes the US what it is. Likewise, there are things I love about Denmark, and things that drive me crazy. The question then becomes, which life is the closest to what I want? I think this year will be the process of deciding exactly that. Odd that I would be making this decision at the age of 35 instead of in my twenties, which would seem like a far more reasonable time to be deciding these things.