…and not just to Argentina. Been there, done that…it’s a new week, people. No, this blog is moving. Please visit/bookmark/subscribe/write down on a tiny scrap of paper (drumroll): http://buenoseye.wordpress.com/
This blog (Besuquear) was mainly born out of my intense curiosity about this intercultural relationship I was embarking on, and my desire to hear from others in the same situation. But as I’m sure you’ve noticed lately, I’ve been wanting to branch out for a while and talk more about life in general, and also include more photos. So now that I finally made the physical move, I thought it was time for the virtual one too. Don’t worry, all the old posts are still there. Why is BuenosEye a good thing? Because it’s prettier. And cooler. And funner. And I swear, to commit to it as an actual blogger who really writes more than once a month just so her archives can look nice. So, um, in case you didn’t click already, DO IT! DO IT NOW!! And then never come back here again. 🙂
Finally. And it feels good, that secret little smile that comes out every time someone asks if I’m happy to be here. And yet life keeps moving, and because have to deal with it, I don’t even have time to feel elated. I remember telling a friend back home how I realized I was expecting Buenos Aires to be fabulous, but was aware it would probably end up being normal, which is to say, a mixed bag of fabulous and crappy and just plain fine. She laughed. Which I think is the right response.
I’ve been here for a week, and as it turns out, making huge life transitions while searching for a job and an apartment is pretty exhausting. I keep waiting to have that moment to breathe and take it all in. And whenever I do, I feel pretty damn happy. But mostly I feel like so much is happening at once. In this past week, I’ve started an awesome internship, gone to shoot photos of a lovely printmaker in quiet Villa del Parque, stayed out in the provincia with my boyfriend’s family, been devastated when his car was broken into the first night at our Palermo sublet, had three job interviews, gotten health insurance, teetered all over the city in heels that just don’t work on cobblestones, learned how to use a smart phone (though mine is more like a mildly-intelligent phone), visited three potential apartments, tried and failed to obtain the elusive SUBE card, and made pizza on a parrilla. And that’s why I haven’t unpacked anything, cleaned anything, or bought anything to eat except fruit and mate.
I try to be a person who is very present and life, who lives in the moment. But sometimes it’s hard to avoid the constant feeling that as soon as the next step happens all will be well…I wanted so badly to finish school. Then I wanted so badly to come here. Now I want to have a steady job that pays well and inspires me. I want to be settled in the apartment that will become home, and make friends with my local fruit seller, and find a place to do pilates and yoga, and establish a routine and some tranquility. I know all these will happen, just like the others did. But the real challenge is being able to awaken to the moment, now, and recognize that life happens during the process of reaching milestones, and not just in their completion. At least, that’s the goal for tomorrow…tonight I’m too exhausted. 🙂
All I can do is dream about Argentina. I’m supposed to be enjoying my last month at home before moving abroad, spending quality time with family and friends because who knows when I’ll see them again, and living it up in the land of organization, dishwashers, and lattes. I know I will miss all of this, the people most of all, and the real sense of belonging. But right now I just want to be there, because I belong with H too. And I want to start the fabulous life that has been feeding my imagination for so long, even as an awareness of the many difficulties I’ll face lurks at the back of my mind.
I’m waiting in state of mixed-feelings limbo, hovering somewhere in between nostalgia for what I’ll say goodbye to and excitement for what’s to come. As much as I want to be a person who lives in the present, my present is too shaped by desires and experiences that are far away in space and time – or soon will be.
In other words, I’m feeling complicated, but I’m ok with that. Even so, there’s no way to chose between this:
Wherever I’ll go, I’ll always be missing someone. But I guess that means there’s a lot of love in my life, for which I am so grateful
This will be quick because the boy is in the shower and then brunch at the best roadside diner on the Mass/Vermont border awaits! Today is our two year anniversary. I almost never sleep in, but this morning I did, and my favorite thing ever happened, that we woke up together and sleepily snuggled for a long time. And then a card fell on my head out of nowhere….a beautiful, beautiful card with a confusing clue, and a TREASURE HUNT that eventually led me to rifle through the recycling in our kitchen, the owner of this apartment’s cd collection, and the dryer (the clue was, “where you put your clothes but I don’t put mine” — because if he puts his there, dryer-virgins that they are, they’ll shrink!!). It was such a lovely, unexpected surprise from my amazing beloved H.
Ok, I know I promised other updates, but they will happen soon, I swear! For now it’s pancake and waffle time.
All is well in this rainy, misty little corner of the east coast, except that school and work mean I have no time to write or look for a job (in Argentina!) or read novels or do other important life things.
Living together was a little rough for the first couple of days weeks but now it seems like it’s getting better. What I thought would be hard about it is constantly being together, and having to share chores and worry about money and stuff. But it turns out that what’s harder (for me) is learning to let someone else into my daily routines and most intimate moments. I’ve lived away from home for six years now, and been really happy with that freedom and independence. I love doing things my own way, making my own schedule, seeing who I want to see when I want to see them, and having peaceful moments to do nurturing things for myself. But now H is here and everything is different. Suddenly I feel out of control, because a whole different person is sharing this space and this time with me, with his own desires and needs. I think it’s a little easier for him, because he’s used to living with family, and used to that intrusive warmth of Argentines in general. Mostly what I’m beginning to realize is that living with someone, you need to sculpt out those little moments for yourself again because they ground you and make you sit back and realize how amazing it is, despite all the little annoyances, that the person you love put his entire life on hold to come halfway around the world to be with you.
Now we have channeled the difficulties of the first few days into a few key moments. I read on some trashy but wonderful gossip website that Sarah Jessica Parker said the secret to her success in her long marriage was allowing herself to hate her husband one day a week. I think that’s sort of what me and H do, not on purpose, about every week or two. Every single time we go to the damn grocery store, we end up having a huge fight about SOMETHING. We don’t even have to be IN the grocery store for it to start, it’s more like the knowledge that we’re going signals to our brains that it’s time to get out all that pent-up rage. It’s about my driving, his need to buy nutrient-less white bread, whatever. Any excuse to finally get it all out, in a setting that means it can’t get TOO ugly and during the constantly distracting process of buying food that means that three minutes later, we forget what we were mad about. I actually think it’s a pretty good system, both cathartic and efficient. By the time everything is put away at home, we’re ok again.
Future topics to stay tuned for: H’s brief but exciting experience as an illegal immigrant worker, and H’s ridiculous manipulations of the poor, poor English language. Love it!
As I’ve mentioned before, for two people who love food, there is nowhere our cultural differences are more apparent than in the kitchen. Last night we decided to have salad for dinner. We cut up some tomato and threw it on top of lettuce. But that was where the similarities ended. He wanted raw onion. I wanted avocado. He wanted olive oil, vinegar, and salt; I wanted a vinaigrette made with mustard (so similar, and yet so different – the story of our lives!). He wanted mozzarella cheese; I wanted croutons. Basically, we ate the salad side by side, but each with our own little bowl where we could do our own thing. This is not so dramatic, except it represents every step of the huge transition we’re going through, living together for the first time in the U.S. and trying to figure out who and how we are here.
Going to the supermarket was hard too. Because I realized that while I was in Argentina, I was ok with adapting to how things worked there – no real difference between organic or not, no silly concepts like raw milk or hormone-free grassfed meat. Here, where I can make those choices again, they are so important to me. But he’s wondering when the heck I got so crazy. That said, he made himself veggie burgers and broccoli for lunch today, and I wasn’t even there. So I’m taking it as a sign that things will get easier; the challenges are all part of the adventure. In this particular adventure so far I think we’re equal parts blissfully overjoyed to finally be together and lovingly desirous of throwing each other out the window. But mostly we just laugh about it and then chow down on the one thing we do agree on: alfajores.
Just one week until a sweet, curly-haired Argentine boy steps off the plane in New York to run into my arms. Just one week until a whole year of long distance is over. Just one week until we begin our next great adventure in a tiny rural town, tucked into the Berkshire mountains. Guess who cannot wait. No really, CANNOT. If the waiting of this past year was hard, this week is the hardest.
But I’m so unbelievably excited : ) : ) : )