Monday, April 1, 2013

Puerto Rico-inspired feels.

When it comes to Puerto Rico, specifically visiting Puerto Rico, I am a mixed bag of emotions. I love to visit, and I get really hyped up when anticipating a set-in-stone visit. When the travel date arrives, I am filled with both excitement and trepidation. When it comes time to leave, it is both devastating and a huge relief.

Puerto Rico is apart of me in a way that I can't describe. It's in my blood, and the very air breathes new life into me. I am never completely whole unless I am there, in the humidity and the unpredictable weather, listening to the music of the coquís and watching the trees sway in the wind.

And yet, while that island is apart me, I can never truly be apart of the island. I am an outsider looking in on a culture both familiar and alien to me. The language is not my own, will never be my own even if I finally learned to speak it fluently. I love the culture, I love the food, I love the history, but I am too American to ever really fit in. I love my family, but I am a stranger to them, and they to me.

Puerto Rico is home...and at the same time, it is strange and unfamiliar. My visits are brief and bittersweet; even when I lived there, I never did fit in.

I am taking Fordski with me this summer. I am so excited to show him my home, my birthplace. To take him to the mountains, the rainforest and the waterfalls, the fortress and the cobble-stoned streets, the boardwalk and the caves. The days will go by all too quickly...but when it comes time to leave, I will no longer feel out of place, and it will be such a relief, even as departing tears at my heart and my soul.

I am more at home in the states than on my island. And yet, the island calls to me, teasing me, knowing I can never truly fit in there, but telling me otherwise.

Gawd dammit.

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