“Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Belgium, etc.”
I have almost forgotten I gave an interview about my beginnings in Belgium – it was such a long time ago after all. But it is a nice way for me to travel back in time while sipping a coffee. I also forgot that this person travelling to a new country which was to become her home is me. A younger version of myself, restless, curious, ambitious and eager to take in everything that this new universe had to put on offer.
Things have changed in the meantime; 15 years have gone by. Now I am a full-time Belgian citizen, enjoying the privileges of free, border-less travel within Europe, for however long it lasts, and accessing many countries of the world without a visa. I never introduce myself upfront as Belgian, though, because here is the thing: somehow I will always be “stuck” in my immigrant condition, because I like it. “Neither here, nor there” suits me well but I realise that this country gives me this option. I have a choice here, to belong or not quite entirely. It is an open place for me to evolve whichever way I chose to and one that accepts me. And today more than ever, I think I might show some gratitude for this. Belgium left it up to me to become as Belgian as I desired. If anything, immigration is a fascinating thing, don’t you agree?
These were quite possibly my very first thoughts about how I felt about this place back in the days. Read the interview here: