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Ode to dreaming on International Migrants Day

Daydreaming is an emotional consciousness I had to embrace from a very early age. Those who live in a small town may understand why… There’s a certain uneasiness about dreaming of a far away landscape and soundscape where one may grasp that latent force beneath thinking ahead. There’s also an exhausting yet rewarding relentlessness in trying to figure out one’s essence. I guess the more questions one asks, the more questions remain unanswered. Perhaps, the one question I have answered is that change constitutes the backbone of our lives, and that there’s really no point in embracing alterity as a virtue. Rather, the sooner we reconcile with ourselves, the closer to that essence. This may adopt many names, but I personally think of it as a sense of belonging. And that is ultimately what I was looking for when migrating to Cardiff, Wales. I wished to belong.

Vistas to the Basilica from my childhood bedroom in Colmenar Viejo, Madrid (Spain)

In Finland, Germany, the US and now the UK I have found love, a brighter professional environment where I for once feel that I’m worth it, but this also brings an endless frustration when confirming time and time again a personal inability to be content with the script I was given. And herein lies that exhausting yet rewarding relentlessness. There’s many excuses for you to give up on dreaming. But there comes a point when you will run out of excuses and then you start to move, to try and find somewhere else to belong. The truth is that those in the diaspora have as many reasons as personal aspirations to look ahead. Because migration, no matter its nature, is ultimately about strength, a decisive will to belong. Nobody migrates to make it harder for others, but to make it easier for themselves. And that is as human an aspiration as it can get.

Personally, being a migrant is an entitlement I embody given our contingent European privilege – nonetheless subject to multiple challenges. I didn’t take a dinghy with other peers to cross the Mediterranean, nor did I jump any barbwire fencing Ceuta and Melilla. In fact, I never had to keep my composure when arriving to any of those places mentioned above. Perhaps because my skin tone, accent or whatever other social marker projected on me are not usually categorized as threatening. That, however, is a luxury that many migrants can only aspire to. For we keep falling in a short-sighted attitude towards any type of dreaming. As if trying to reach a happier version of oneself would diminish other’s happiness. Lets give each other a break. The only reason why a migrant differs from a native lies in the former not being in an advantageous position to reach themselves in full potentiality. Isn’t that what we all want from life?

For more information about International Migrants Day, visit the following link https://www.un.org/en/observances/migrants-day

Written by Santi, our long term ESC Volunteer