You have been my home for six years by this point, and I honestly cannot believe how the time has flown. When I think back on how much has changed in my life, in this country, and back “home” in the United States, it’s quite overwhelming.
At least in my case now, I guess “home” is a place you just visit. The concept is remnant of a word in Welsh that I once came across: Hiraeth, meaning a homesickness for a home to which you cannot or do not return; a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past.
Yeah. That about sums it up.
There are many times when speaking about you, Argentina, I cannot help but personify you, as though you were some tumultuous, co-dependent, messed up, on-going bipolar love affair that I was having. Often times, I don’t like you, but deep down, I still know that I love you (I think).
But we need to talk.
It’s hard to invest in you, emotionally or otherwise, when I feel these conflicting push-pull feelings toward you. They’re not feelings of ambiguity, mind you, but rather extremes. I’ve got one foot in you and one elsewhere (anywhere else!), ultimately leading me neither here nor there.
I know that in many ways, I will forever be in your debt. After all, you are the country that, among other things, gave me accessible, legal residency, economic opportunity, and a new land to call home. But you are also the country that has become more dangerous, turbulent, unstable, and scarily unsettling with the passing years. You and I both deserve better!
I love you for allowing some of the warmest, sweetest people into my life (my extended Argentine family included). These people have helped form and mold me into the person who I am today, I cannot fathom my life without them, and they are a product of you. I also strongly dislike you because you are also inhabited by some of the rudest, sketchiest, most inconsiderate, cruelest, and sometimes xenophobic cagadores and pelotudos that I have ever encountered. People who just don’t give a damn, be it towards others or their own country. I find it incredibly disheartening, discouraging, and disappointing.
Coming here by choice and being here for as long as I have has not left me unaffected or unscathed. I just haven’t been able to determine after all these years whether it’s ultimately damage or development, and what the extent of it is.
I feel like I’ve gone round in circles with this esoteric letter, so maybe I’ll just quit while I’m ahead and finish here.
Happy sixth anniversary, Argentina. Hopefully there will be more to come. Hopefully…