I leave my Buenos Aires family and home in less than 41 hours. I will be home– to my USA family and home– fairly early on Friday morning.
All I can say is, I have finally learned the true definition of bittersweet.
I don’t know if you could all tell that I was pretty apprehensive about coming to Buenos Aires initially. I tried to keep it under wraps, a bit (or at least not make it super duper obvious), but you can sort of see it here and here and even kind of here. I’m not the type of person to get anything close to panic attacks, but I was really freaking out in a seriously major way. I couldn’t imagine leaving the comfort of my college and friend groups to go to a place where I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t speak the language, and basically had no idea what I would be getting myself into.
It’s five months later and right now I can’t imagine leaving.
On one hand, it’ll be nice to go back to my family and see all my friends again. I’m excited to go back to legitimate fencing practices, and I’ll be happy to start singing again. That said, the fact that doing all of these things means leaving this wonderful city, with its beautiful buildings and culture and the wonderful, wonderful, people here, amables y graciosos, is tearing my heart up. Seriously. My heart is currently being ripped apart into pieces of bloody confetti and thrown into a trash can.
But yes. In the past five months I’ve grown, a lot. I know it’s 100% cliched but the only reason for that is because it’s also 100% TRUE. At the very least, I’ve changed from someone who was afraid to leave her home into someone who is ready to travel the world. I’ve not only learned what living in a big city is like (even though I had never lived in one before), I have learned to navigate it alone, smartly, and make it my home. Because in reality, this city is my home. It always will be and it feels like it always has been. I’ve never felt the same way about a place before– like I was meant for it and it for me.
I’ve known all along that I would have to go back, even though honestly if I didn’t have to finish school, I’d actually stay here forever. It’s just that packing up my life from the past five months makes it all real. Figuring out what I need to take with me, what to leave with my host family (maybe my Wegman’s peanut butter? My host brother LOVES that stuff!!), and what to just throw out is difficult. It’s hard to imagine that I’m not going to wake up every morning to a view of the city and all the sounds that come with cities, and it’s even harder to imagine that soon I’ll be living with students again. People my age instead of a family. There are many things that I’ll need to readjust to.
I know nothing in life is certain, but what I am certain about is that I will be back here. Maybe not next summer like I originally envisioned. Maybe not directly after I graduate college, like I certainly hope. But definitely at some point, and definitely sooner rather than later.
So here’s to another couple of days before hitting reverse culture-shock.
Argentina, te quiero, y te voy a quierer siempre.