Here’s my problem recently … in fact it’s been a problem for a while now and I suspect it’s a deeper rooted problem than I care to consider: the move to Chile has propelled me into adulthood.
When I moved here, I embarked on a whirlwind of adult themes – living with a significant other, having a household with a significant other (complete with a shared checking account), getting a dog with a significant other, getting married, and finally, being a stepmother to significant other’s children. Prior to all of this, I was a single gal living in the San Francisco Bay Area, traveling a heap for work and going out with my friends whenever the hell I pleased. No one to take into account besides myself and living the single life in my fabulous little apartment in the sunny outskirts of San Francisco. I traded all this in for the sake of love and moved to the bottom of the Earth to… become an adult.
The thing is, adulthood is fucking lonely. I’m nostalgic more than I care to recall and I miss my former life more than I care to admit. Then I consider that perhaps adulthood, introduced firsthand while living in a foreign country, is made far worse by the fact that I have to “learn the ropes” in this new country and adjust to society and culture here. What does that mean? Personally, for me, it means being the odd-man out 24-7. Combine this with “adult” responsibilities like planning for retirement, saving, planning kids, paying bills, saving for a future home, and seriously I just want to curl up in a ball and fall asleep next to my dog. All of it seems dry, all of it seems boring and ALL OF IT makes me miss my friends back home more than I can possibly express in one post.
Here’s the thing: while most of life is happening around me and I try to navigate my own life in the best, most successful way possible, inside, I’m like Peter Pan. I literally am the kid that never wants to grow up. Outside I’m 34 years old; inside I’m 24. In fact, call me crazy, but I still recall – FONDLY, mind you – the ’80’s Toys R Us commercial:
Indeed, all I want in life is to continue being a Toys R Us kid.
But those days are long gone and I’m not a Toys R Us kid. I’m not even a Falabella kid.
I guess what really makes adulthood a fucking drag right about now is this: I’ve had a really hard time making significant connections with people I’ve met here in Chile. Yeah, I LIKE some people I’ve met and think they are, in essence, pretty cool people, but I’d say it’s a far cry from actually connecting with said people. Sure, there are all kinds of variables, the most obvious one being my demanding job that pretty much sucks my will to do anything else besides come home and crash most of the time. But there are all kinds of other variables to consider too: age, priorities, responsibilities, work, time and space, just to name a few.
I know that my best friends back home are also tackling adulthood head on. They’re watching as other friends have children, buy homes, buy second homes, have second children, move up in their careers, etc, etc. Entering adulthood in Chile, for me, has been like starting a new school. I’m alone, I don’t really have any friends, I’m going through changes that feel weird and awkward and it seems everyone else is either 1) not going through the same changes or 2) breezing through said changes. In fact, I attended Catholic school for a hefty amount of time and when I started 8th grade in a public school in a new city, for the first time ever, I recall feeling a similar sentiment.
At times like these all I want to do is go somewhere where everybody knows my name … yeah I’m recalling the theme song to “Cheers,” but OH MY GOD does it ring true and comforting right about now.
Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.
[Why yes it does take everything I have and more so living in a foreign country where more often than not, all things seem backwards to me.]
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.
[WHY YES IT WOULD!! I could potentially prolong my sanity, I think.]
Wouldn’t you like to get away?
[Yes. Ideally to San Francisco or New York where my best friends are living. Given this, I’m thankful for an upcoming trip to NYC in September.]
Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
[I used to live a life where I frequented places where many people knew me. Now I live the most anonymous life I can fucking conjure up.]
and they’re always glad you came.
[This line is the one that gets me. So many places I know I can walk into right now and KNOW that people will be happy to see me. But, fuck, more importantly, that people will actually GET me. I won’t be the odd man out, I may just fucking blend in. That or people will actually know me. Such a far cry from my life in Chile right now.]
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
Misery loves company? Happiness loves company too, though. I’ll take either one here in Chile, but I’m so missing those connections. ARE people the same here as they are there? Do they have similar troubles? Do they go through the same things?…. Fuck if I know.
You wanna be where everybody knows
You wanna go where people know,
people are all the same,
[As much so here as there? Probably but then again, what do I know?]
You wanna go where everybody knows
[What does it mean to go where everyone knows your name? Common bonds, that’s one. Relatable history, that’s another.]
There’s something to be said about surrounding yourself with people who know your history, people who knew you “way back when.”
The most recent example of this:
What the hell does all that mean and why should you care?
You shouldn’t care actually. If you do, I’ll call you a crazy stalker.
But what I’ll share with you are simple facts:
1) Amanda is a really, really good friend I met in college . In fact, we lived together our senior year.
2) I used to be the agro friend who had her hair done (highlights and cut) every nine weeks on the dot. I also used to have my eyebrows done on a monthly basis. (An impossible feat here in Chile since, after having lived here 2+ years, finding a decent hairdresser continues to be a Holy Grail-esque quest.)
3) With this personal standard, I took it upon myself to alert all of my friends of their unruly hairs (whether on their heads or faces) whenever said hairs reared their ugly natures. I was what Amanda used to refer to as a “crotchety old aunt.”
Yet despite that annoying trait, this good friend of mine, along with another dear friend, remembered me when they passed by the hair salon where I used to get my hair ‘did back home (said reference to Trio). So much so, that they sent me a text message alerting me to the fact, despite the thousands of miles and the times zones that divide us. To me the idea of being “where everybody knows [my] name” and to know people are “always glad I came” is something that is embodied in this text message I’ve shared right here on my blog.
I envision the me right now, grappling with being an adult and taking on the adult responsibilities that are coming at me left and right, stepping into the car with my two good friends, hearing them say “Dre!!” (if you ever watched “Cheers” you’d get this reference. If not, then here.) Seriously, I think that’s all I’d need to dust myself off and face the craziness of this new adulthood (in a foreign land.)