well… I’ve been back in the USA from Barcelona for a month… and although well-intentioned getting asked “how is the adjustment/how is it being back” is… it’s reallllllyyyyy annoying. Literally I was getting this my first day back. You can’t express feelings if you haven’t been allotted time to have. In any case, a month later I believe I can give a more thoughtful response.
Generally, I’m well. I love being back. I love seeing my family and life long friends on a more regular basis and being able to take part in things with them. I had a difficult time trying to decide how I wanted to write this, week by week, event by event.But this is what I settled with… Let’s break it down.
I have a huge family, and we’re all pretty close, some of which who even came to Barcelona to visit me. Within my first week back I got to see a lot of them which was completely needed. I’ve been able to sit down in the kitchen and talk to my older cousins, learn family scandals and even plan a family reunion, all of which has been amazing to discuss.
I also got to take my mom out to Diner En Blanc in NYC. My mother doesn’t get many opportunities to go out and do things. She’s always running around with my brother and kind-of maintaining her household, that has become her life. I felt good about being back and being able to give her a break, a reason to dress up and not think about all the things she had to do.
My cousin and I grew up together, so soon as I got back we got into old habits, went to an R&B night, NYC pop-up museum 29Rooms, and birthday gathering together. Also got to spend some time with my little brother which has been nice.
Friends… how many of us have them?
Friends… one’s we can depend on.
lmao okay. So on a serious note – I have some amazing ass friends. I also have some trash ass ones. I love being back and being around my friends. In this short time I’ve been able to connect with childhood friends, highschool friends, and University friends which all has made me so happy. It’s one thing to know family is always supporting you, but to have a group of people not bound to you by blood supporting you because of their genuine caring of you is something special, and I’ve been feeling it in bounds.
What has also been brought to my attention in headlights, are the “friends“ who aren’t as supportive, or who just plainly don’t care about me. You may be reading this and think you are in the former group – I’m here to tell you that you’re probably not. If you haven’t asked me about my well-being you’re not here for me OR If you haven’t made an effort to contact me/see me AT ALL you’re not here for me. I’ve come to this realization that my friends like people i’m in relationships with need to benefit me in some way. We should benefit each other, not equally but mutually. So also if you can’t find a way in which you’ve benefited me, whether that be by supporting me, giving me advice, helping me with something, making time, etc. you also are not here for me.
But about the ones who do, I love you, and you are appreciated.
Within this month, I went to a wedding of University friends, apple-picking/wine tasting tradition with highschool friends, saw my godbaby, a birthday gathering that included high school friends, brunch dates and girls night in with childhood friends. It’s been amazing to be around everyone and it really makes me appreciative of all the friendships I do still have and can maintain. It’s also made me realize that some friendships weren’t as developed as I thought them to be. I’ve made conscious decisions to step away from certain friendships because the dynamic of them were just not what I thought; which is bittersweet, sad because I don’t have the time to nurture those right now but excited for the personal growth in recognizing that.
I KNEW I missed diversity … but I didn’t realize just HOW MUCH. How can I describe this without being too vulnerable; my first nights back I went out, and in these party settings there were many people who looked similar to me. Whether the natural hair styles, or shape, or color, etc. and men who were use to seeing women similar to me, and I didnt feel threatened by it. I felt seen, embraced, cared about, wanted… normal. I felt a bond with these people whom I didn’t know due to a shared culture and I missed that.
I missed seeing diversity across working fields. I missed knowing there were a plethora of places FOR US, BY US. I’m happy to be in place were I don’t have to feel like an anomaly or like I have to/should be a certain way because I’m black. I enjoy being in spaces that are predominantly black and brown because we are a market, because we are being celebrated, because sometimes we just want our own safe spaces. This was never something lacking until I moved abroad. This isn’t something I knew I needed until being in a place that didn’t have it.
Well, if you follow me – on any social media site – I have been active. Which has been
great because I love my cities but also kinda tiring. Before leaving NY I was super social, so this isn’t anything new, and being back and being thrown back into it all I think made the transition easier. I’ve been loving seeing everyone and learning new places, but it also further reminds me how much has changed, whether that be amongst friendships or where people go, it reminds me that although I’ve lived my life here, I’m now a visitor or new comer. Things have changed.
Seeing so many people and having the “Tell me whats been going on“ conversation has made me extremely proud to see how far everyone has come and what they’re doing in their lives, but also made me sink in a sadness about my own life and how I went on such a different trajectory. Yeah I’ve done wonderful things in the past 2 years, I went on a trip of self-discovery and cultures and I loved every part of it and how its molded me into this person that I would of never been if I stayed – but – something about being back puts me in this place of should I have been doing this instead? It’s like me and everyone I know were on the same trajectory and I went off it when I went to Spain, and everyone else kept going. And although I understand we just did different things, its like now I’m back and went back to the same place I left off at (except unemployed lol) , meanwhile everyone else has progressed.
So leaving Barcelona I had the notion I wanted to be with someone, I wanted to be in a relationship… and I still do – IN THEORY -. In reality I got back and wanted nothing to do with dating, the idea of it kind of exhaust me. I have so much else going on with applying for jobs, still teaching in the mornings, maturing in my faith, and re-connect with family and friends… dating has definietly taken a seat on the back burner. So still in theory I’d love to be a relationship, but I just don’t have the time and capacity it would take to nurture something new, so unless someone old wants to confess their undying love for me and not require my undivided attention I cannot do it right now. And with that said please noone old confess your undying love for me. I’m over it. It’s tired, and my threshold is low.
There are many things that are different between being here and there, there are many habits that I’ve taken from the European/Spanish culture that I cant and dont want to shake, and there are many things I do miss. But I feel like this has been long-winded enough lol… I’ll elaborate in my “Transition” piece. If you read up to here… thanks !