to lose a sense of where you are implies the danger of losing a sense of who you are.
ralph waldo ellison, the invisible man
i lost the sense of who i was while looking through the back window of a yellow 1984 yugo. i simply waived it goodbye as i sat in the back seat, staring at our grand house that was fading fast into the horizon. it was late-september, 1989. my family and i had packed all we could, squeezed into our compact family car, and look off for ‘america.’
i am a first generation immigrant. i often forget this in my day-to-day. the feeling of home and sense of belonging have long disappeared since that yellow yugo. it resurfaces again, within certain settings and with certain people. but that is all it will ever be, a sense of home; a glimpse of something familiar.
fifteen years had passed and we had yet to return to our dear macedonia. a trip back home was inevitable, and so it was from 11 june to 2 july 2004. we had left everything as-is, as if we had taken off for a vacation that took fifteen years to return from. our house was a frozen time-capsule, waiting to be opened again. it was an old wound and a new beginning. but more importantly, it was closure.
it’s quite strange documenting something so personal and sharing it with the world. i am a walking contradiction. no matter how hard i try to forget the past, it always finds me to remind me. this is a compilation of then-24 year-old me, dealing with the ghost-of-9-year-old me, trying to cope with the feeling of homelessness and uprootedness all these years later.
© 2004 | nikon f2 // 50 mm