The past few days in Santiago have been pleasantly warm which is a great deviation from the weather when I first arrived in Chile. Spring is coming and I can feel it (aside from the itchy eyes and constant sneezing due to the breeze blowing pollen, I mean.)
My apartment, which once looked like this:
and like this:
and then when my stuff arrived it initially looked like this:
Is now looking like the home I’ve always known and at the same time the home I always wished to have with the siggy other (minus, let’s face it, the kids room but I have to say, even that’s a cute room too.) And the most important feeling of all, I realized a short time ago, is that now this apartment – smack dab in the middle of Providencia and sometimes a bit too noisy – feels like home to me. Of course now it looks a lot better since we have, you know, STUFF in it. So what was once bleak, now looks like this:
and even my office feels like MY office and work space:
At first it was super weird to work from home. Even now, I do miss the ritual of getting myself to an actual office. I also miss that once there, it’s a bit social and a bit work, all rolled into one. I don’t have that in my day-to-day right now and sometimes I really miss it. But overall, I am adjusting to working from home even if sometimes it means I’m on conference calls at 7:00 or 8:00 pm my time because it’s three hours earlier in CA. There were times when I felt like a slacker even though I have always gone through the “trouble” to “get ready” for work. I’m never in front of the computer without actually looking like I might work outside my home office. This is key for the mental part of working at home. And I’ve been busy with work since I’ve moved here and as I get more and more busy, I feel less and less slacker-ish. Then today I reaped the reward of a job I’d been working on for over a year in that I finally got a proposal that I’ve worked SO HARD to get. And so today I realized that not only can I work from home, but I can also be productive while working from home. I can be present at my old office while still working from home (even if via email and phone) AND I can still catch a glimpse of that “I’m a bad ass” feeling when I succeed in something that’s taken me a lot of effort to accomplish. Aside from the social aspect, who needs an outside workplace, I ask you?
And that there brings me to another fun little tidbit about my new life here: dare I say I THINK I have a blooming social life. Now, I’m no life of the party and I’m not claiming to be, but I do like me some social outings with cool people. In my last blog post I mentioned that I’ve meet a very cool group of Gringas (their word, not mine so don’t think I’m insulting them) and I have to tell you, there is no remedy to homesickness and adjusting to a new country, more potent than establishing some kind of social life and rhythm. Whether it be eating a hot dog, mani/pedis, pisco sours at lunch, drinking too many bottles of champagne or dancing until my feet hurt (and anything else in between), I’m happy to say that I’ve found people I like being social with and so far, it seems they like to be social with me. I’ve put it out there that I’m an undercover computer game geek and yet they STILL seem to like me. Go figure! But I’ll take it! A social life is nice and I am very grateful for it.
And then there’s mi amor whom I can’t say enough good things about without sounding like a giddy 15 year old. The other day, on the 7th, he took me to this great Peruvian restaurant – a surprise – to celebrate the 11-month anniversary of our first kiss. I don’t know why he likes to celebrate that date because the reality of the first kiss wasn’t all fireworks and passion, but this is who he is and this is why I love him. The food was delicious and it was such a treat to go out to dinner with him, randomly, on a Wednesday night.
In short, what I’m trying to say in this blog, is that I realize that I have a life here in Chile and it happened just like that. I don’t feel homesick for CA anymore, at least not in the way I used to when I first got here. I miss my friends but via email, IM and the telly, we keep in touch and I keep them close always. But I’m here, at home, living my life in Chile!! And when I look out the window and see the trees lining the streets, I think “There’s my street!” and I’m happy. There are things about Chile that really annoy me but there were things about SF that REALLY annoyed me (Hello, the Dirty 30 anyone?) but the funny thing is, I’ve started my life here now and well, stuff is going to annoy me no matter where home is for me. That’s just the persnickety, old lady in me I guess.