Follow me while I visit Argentina y Mexico. I already miss y'all but the internet can keep us together ;)
An Unwritten Novel
“Such an expression of unhappiness was enough by itself to make one’s eyes slide above the paper’s edge to the poor woman’s face — insignificant without that look, almost a symbol of human destiny with it. Life’s what you see in people’s eyes; life’s what they learn, and, having learnt it, never, though they seek to hide it, cease to be aware of — what? That life’s like that, it seems. Five faces opposite — five mature faces — and the knowledge in each face. Strange, though, how people want to conceal it! Marks of reticence are on all those faces: lips shut, eyes shaded, each one of the five doing something to hide or stultify his knowledge. One smokes; another reads; a third checks entries in a pocket book; a fourth stares at the map of the line framed opposite; and the fifth — the terrible thing about the fifth is that she does nothing at all. She looks at life. Ah, but my poor, unfortunate woman, do play the game — do, for all our sakes, conceal it!”
Well maybe not the lost thing I post but at least the last thing I will write about my study abroad experience. I’ve already begun to cry solely typing these words, so needless to say I’m having a WTF experience right now. I know you’re all expecting some insightful last words, since my last posts have been oh so brilliant, but I am completely speechless as of my last days here in Puebla. All I can think about is my first post I put on this blog about how scared and excited I was and how I was so sick of saying goodbye to people, and I never really expected to have come completely full circle and feel the exact same thing on my way out. It’s a strange paradox of so much change and so little at the same time. Do I feel lIke I’ve learned a lot? Of course. Do I feel like I’ve seen a lot? Duh. Have I learned some tequila Spanish? Espero que si. But these past nine months have been some of the most emotionally draining months of my life. And I know people are thinking, Addie, calm down it’s just study abroad, you didn’t go live in some village in Africa without running water, but for me it was challenging because I made it the most challenging experience it could have been. I didn’t just get drunk all the time (until Mexico), I made the most effort I could to make friends with non gringos, and I let myself feel shit for the first time. I didn’t run from anything, and I said yes whenever I could, and it didn’t always work out. I got hurt, I got stuck on Bolivian borders, I made mistakes, and I ate a lot of avocado.
It’s sort of strange that we have to mature in order to let ourself break down, no? We have to learn how to be secure enough to break down into complete insecurity and confusion. And that’s what I’ve done while I’ve been gone. That’s the motherfucking twenties isn’t it? Recklessness, mature immaturity, confusion, chaos, fear, unknown. That’s everything that this country throws in our face now, especially with our current generation being called “The Lost Generation”… makes my insides tingle with excitement to graduate.
Traveling is just a constant reminder how insignificant you are and that was a weird thing. ME? INSIGNIFICANT? I’M AWESOME! And yet when talking recently to one of my only remaining Mexican friends, probably the only one I will stay in contact with, he asked me who I would stay in touch with in the future. Besides him, Nico and Santi, there isn’t really anyone else that I will ever see again or probably ever talk to. 3 people in 9 months. That’s all. Three. And I look back and I think about the insane amount of people I’ve met and realize I will most likely never see them again. Saying goodbye to people you will never see again is probably one of the most mind boggling and eery experiences one can go through. You come into these people’s lives, and then leave, and take a plane and after a few hours you’ve re-entered your exact life where everyone is waiting for you. That’s all it takes. A few hours in time and your life flip flops and returns you to this place you feel like existed decades ago and should require an intense border crossing where you have to fight sharks and scale walls filled with fiery snails? I don’t know my mind is mush I couldn’t do better… But you want to believe that change should require more effort, it should be a hectic process, but it’s not. You travel forward in time while also regressing back in time to the lifestyle you once comfortably knew. And you say goodbye to these people, these acquaintances, and you most likely think of them but they will never think of you. For me, my time in Mexico and Argentina, and really memories in general for that matter are just a collection of interactions with human beings. Yes there are memories of nature and food, but the ones that stick out are the random little happenings that occur on a daily basis. That stick in your mind forever. And maybe you will never think about them, and then 5 years down the line you think you catch their scent, or you say a word and it triggers you back into that exact place in time in which you spilled a shot of tequila and everyone laughed at you. And you smile and remember a ghost that had disappeared for so long yet for some reason your brain slyly stored up until that moment in time. But for these people, you’re just a visitor and you will probably just be the Gringa with the terrible Spanish accent that they never think of again. For me, they are my study abroad. They are my memories. They are what I will remember because I don’t know anything else. They all have lives, significant others, work, and friends that occupy their time, where all I have is them. That is when you realize you are insignificant. That’s when you realize moments are fleeting and people come and go. That’s when you slowly cry and listen to El Perro Del Mar.
That’s not coming from a self-deprecating place. It’s just strange. Who would not remember me? WHY WON’T YOUR BRAIN STORE ME?!
And I’m nervous to return because I feel this pressure to be some amazingly changed person, when in reality I feel like I’ve spent 9 months completely tearing myself down in order to rebuild into a more genuine person. Everything I write sounds cheesier and cheesier but life is corny and I like corn so deal with it…but I don’t think a lot of people allow themselves to do that anymore, let themselves break down. We get married, we have kids, and we pretend we know what we’re feeling when we don’t. We’re all clueless and scared and we pretend like life is just a simple game of Chance, when it can be so much more. So I hope you all don’t expect me to be some amazing person, when I just kinda still feel like a wreck all the time, just like I did last year just a more genuine one who’s trying to increase some emotional IQ points. And that’s fun, and beautiful, and I love it. I’m a wreck y’all, and all I want to do is listen to Anthems for a 17 year girl, sit on a car, and watch the planes go by. We all never really leave 17 do we?
I almost wish I knew why people wanted me to come back as well, again not coming from a self-depracating place, but when you try and think about why you enjoy being with friends, tangible reasons are hard to come by. And so everyone is blowing up my fb wall and talkin about how Addie Penny Lane is returning and I think how will I change their day to day life. How will I make his or her life better? I’m not even that nice! I’ll mock you here and there and steal food from you and put on some music and ya, nada mas. Friends are really just about feelings. You make people feel at ease, and they do the same for you. It’s pretty self-serving no? We chose people who make us feel comfortable, that’s not selfless at all. And yet my friends, both old and the 3 new, made me feel welcome in a place that wasn’t my own, and for that I am grateful.
I’ll stop blabbing now.
So to you all remaining readers (the 5 that still exist) I say thanks for reading this shitty blog. I can’t believe it’s been 9 months, and I can’t wait to see you.