One year ago today was the last time I would wake up in my own apartment; the last time I’d be living my single life; the last time I would drink the best latte in the world from the best neighborhood cafe in the world (Borrones); the last time I would have a sleep over with my best friend, where it would be just me and her in my apt.
A year ago today, I left California and boarded an American Airlines flight to Santiago, to begin my new life here.
It was the last time I walked down the tree lined streets of Menlo Park.
The last time I could call California my home, with a permanent address and a mailbox that proved I lived there.
It was the last time my Uncle Pato ever went to pick me up at my apartment.
It was the last time I walked through the kitchen, the living room, my bedroom … and realized that what I had accomplished alone was passing. I had gone from being a pathetic mess over one failed relationship after another, feeling like a failure who lived with her mom for so long and couldn’t branch out on her own, feeling like my career was going nowhere and in short, feeling stuck … and I turned a new leaf and began to own my life and my choices in a way I had never done before.
That apartment embodied all of that and all four small rooms contained a memory of each and every little accomplishment I had ever set out for my single self.
Leaving California was hard. It was hard to see my beloved apt reduced to nothing more than wall-to-wall carpeting and window blinds. It was hard to say goodbye to my best friend, knowing that I would NEVER, for as long as I would be away, ever form friendships as strong as I have in California.
It has been hard adapting to a country that has amazing resources and great potential, but that, realistically, is light years behind more developed countries like the U.S.
I miss home and sometimes G gets sad when I tell him that. But the thing is, he’s the reason I’m here. He’s all the reason I’ll ever need to motivate me to move from Pole to Pole. I said to him the other day: “I would follow you to Afghanistan and back, so long as I was with you.” And it’s true.
But the reality is that to me, being in Chile is not an accomplishment and it’s so far from where I thought I’d be in life, it’s almost comical.
However, HE is the accomplishment and what we have together is also so far from where I thought I’d be in life. I was convinced I’d never find someone like him, amazing in so many ways. I am truly blessed with him – because of him and because of who I am and who I want to be when I’m with him. Just better, all around. Does he make the move to Chile worth it? A million times yes.
But as an independent woman, someone who values strength and autonomy as well, I want to find my own path in this narrow land … so far it’s been hard.
One year later, I’ve taken steps, but I’m miles (or kilometers) away from making strides.