Thursday, March 11, 2010

(Buenos Aires) is not my home

A few months ago I was having a particularly rough day and got into a cab just as this song came on the air, the first time I had ever heard it. At the time I was seriously considering trying to find a flight home as soon as possible and I took the song as a sign. Although I am glad I decided to stick it out a few months, the lyrics pretty accurately sum up my feelings then and now.

Jim Croce, "New York's Not My Home"

Well things were spinnin' round me
And all my thoughts were cloudy
And I had begun to doubt all the things that were me
Been in so many places
You know I've run so many races
And looked into the empty faces of the people of the night
And something is just not right

'Cause I know
That I gotta get out of here
I'm so alone
Don't you know that I gotta get out of here
'Cause (Buenos Aires) is not my home

Though all the streets are crowded
There's somethin' strange about it
I lived there bout a year and I never once felt at home
I thought I'd make the big time
I learned a lot of lessons awful quick and now I'm
Tellin' you that they were not the nice kind
And it's been so long since I have felt fine

That's the reason that I gotta get out of here

It might sound a little harsh but the general message is true: this is just not my home. I will never regret coming back here because then I always would have wondered "what if?" And, I would not trade my experiences in Argentina for anything. I have done amazing things, met fantastic people, made lasting friendships. But, it's time to go home.

There are many things I don't like about living in the U.S. on many different levels. I have a lot of personal history that prevents me from being who I feel like I am now instead of who I was 10 years ago (for instance, I can't get people to stop calling me Beth), whereas when I go somewhere that no one knows me I get to be exactly who I am now, without any of my past influencing people's perceptions or opinions of me.

On a higher level, while it might be bad/lazy/irresponsible, I follow the 'ignorance is bliss' tenant since I find it keeps me relatively calm, but I can't avoid the U.S. news, politics, woes, etc. like I can in Argentina.

But, the U.S. is my home. The older I get the more I realize just how important community is. Like a good garden, a community takes years of nurturing to develop. Without all that personal history I wouldn't have my incredibly supportive family or a group of finely-tuned friends.

Frankly, my community kicks ass and I'm ready to really, finally commit to it. I have some really exciting opporunities waiting for me once I get back, an ideal living situation already settled, and a full month in my favorite second home, Philadephia, followed by a glorious Seattle summer to kick it all off. I'm finally ready to start the next phase of my life and I'm blessed to get to share it with so many of you.

I am lucky enough to have the opportunities to travel and smart enough to take them. So, this is by no means the end of my travel itch. It's just a shift in how I will go about scratching it.

Photo from


Desomniac said...

That's the problem with Seattle. It has a way of casting spells on people. We'll see ya in May :)

jrteacherlady said...

It sounds like you've had amazing experiences in your extensive travels! Good for you:) I've loved keeping up on your life even from a far. I hope you keep up the blog when you're "settled" back at home:)

AmberAnda said...

I'm glad you had your time down south, and also really happy to hear that you are ready to come back. You are going to have a glorious Seattle summer! And hopefully we will be part of each other's community one day in the not-so-distant future.

Momma Archer said...

There really is no place like home. I am glad that you made the choice to go back to Buenos Aires. You always would have wondered "what if?" if you hadn't. Although your life in Argentina has not been perfect, you have had some wonderful experiences--many of which most people can only dream. You're a pretty amazing person.

May is my favorite month and now it will be even better!

Summer said...

Some of the things you are talking about remind me of my stay in Argentina. I remember being shocked too with the fact that young children can stay up late till midnight. But that doesn’t seem to be such a bad thing for portenios. Usually night starts at 9, and depending on how dark it gets, because if there is still daylight, night can start at 10 PM.
I stayed in an apartment in buenos aires located in the neighborhood of Recoleta. Very classy and close to the cemetery which is the well-known tourist attraction.
As far as food is concerned, I tried empanadas and let me tell you that is one tasty dish.
I loved the country; I hope I will go back!