“I forgot your name.”

Marisa Comeau-Kerage


March 12, 2013

“I forgot your name.”

“What? Which one?”

“Your American name.”

“Oh, Marisa.”

“Marisa, that’s right.
Where did Marisa go?  Where is
she?”

We were talking about my plans for the future after I returned home.  I’m not sure in what context the question came about for my host mom, but what bothered me was how off guard it caught me.  Where did I go?  Or where did, ‘Marisa’, the girl that originally arrived here go?  Have I really changed that much?  I would expect my real family to notice the subtle changes, but have I changed so drastically that even my host family, who has only known me a few short months, can see it?  I feel like the same person.  But maybe I am blind to my own change.  I’m still the same person, aren’t I?  Well maybe I can’t see it because everything I do here has become normal.

Okay, so I tried to imagine this new routine I’ve adapted to in an American setting and to say that attempt was funny would be an understatement.  Everything is different here, not even close to comparable to what I’ll be returning to.  So, there’s something.  Maybe that ‘Marisa’ that has somehow disappeared is the me equipped to handle daily life in America, and the other me, I guess that’s how I would put it, is the one adjusted to my life out here.  So does that mean when I return, I’ll lose this new person?  I know it wouldn’t happen over night but over time would she cease to exist?  Or will I not be able to adjust back into that other person?  Or, by some miracle, will the two come together and learn to coexist?  One can only hope, but I guess I’ll only know upon return.  As frightening as the unknown quality of that is, I’m kind of excited to go home.  There is so much about my life there that I took for granted and now have found such a great appreciation for.  Well, that kind of knowledge, the perspective of how lucky I am can’t be something I lose over time.  So maybe I won’t lose this other me.  She might not be working overtime like she is here but she’ll still be there.  I’m almost sure of it.  And that’s all I can hope for now, I guess.


Marisa Comeau-Kerage