I have a dear friend who moved to the United States over thirty years ago. A phenomenon she has experienced, since receiving her medical training here in the US, is when visiting her home country and talking to medical professionals there, she doesn't know the language, her own native tongue when discussing topics with a more advanced vocabulary than she had when she left as a young woman. In other words, she only speaks and understands the language she learned up until she moved away. When she has adult conversations now with adults in her home country she finds it difficult to translate the advanced vocabulary she has in English to the advanced vocabulary of her native tongue.
Since I got married and moved away from my childhood home and state many things have changed both in and around me and the people I love and who love me. The language has always been the same but the in-between things, the growth that we've all experienced in almost three decades may prove to be part of a language barrier of sorts. We've developed a new "dialect" if you will.
In the twenty eight years since I first left my childhood home, sitting next to my new husband in his Ford pickup pulling a u-haul trailer filled with our wedding gifts and a few pieces of furniture and all of my belongings, we've lived in seven states, eleven homes, said good-bye a thousand times to good friends, neighbors, and family members on our trips back for holidays, weddings, funerals, and summer vacations.
Those I love and who love me have also had growth and changes and experiences that have given them a new dialect to the same common language we all speak, and I wonder, as I anticipate our move back, will we have a communication gap? Will we have to carry around with us an invisible English/Growth translation book as we get to know each other in real life rather than the short times we would visit or be visited and try to talk about the highlights when we're together?
You know, the "so and so got married. So and so moved here. So and so is working there. So and so had a baby." When we visit family, or family visits us, that's what we spend a lot of our time together talking about. Catching up on the major details or changes that have been happening, and not having the time to spend just hanging out together, shopping, going out for dinner on a fairly regular basis, having conversations that go beyond just the basic factual stuff and instead learning each other's dialect.
We've all had the life bumps happen to us in the last quarter century that have caused us to add new words to our vocabulary. Words like grief, disappointment, joy, sadness. We've had experiences that have shaped our attitudes, fine-tuned our beliefs, and made us who we are.
When I think of going back to where it all began I have to remind myself that none of us are at the age I remember us being when we moved away. Our life vocabulary has been enhanced and changed. We've all grown from the people we were then into the people we are now. A lot has stayed the same about us, but a lot has changed too. I hope we can "hear" and understand each other's dialect and pick up where we left off and get to know each other in a new but old way all over again.
Just Write 78