When I say that I miss home, I refer to Chicago the most. That is where I have spent most of my time as a reasoning being. Even though I spent my childhood in Colombian, most of my forming years were spent in the U.S.
While that makes me very American in some of my thinking and the way I approach things, I never forget my heritage or where I come from. When I came home every night from school, I remember that Colombian food was always on the table. The weekend barbecues always had Colombian music playing in the background, and it was even here in the U.S. that my Mom taught me how to really dance Salsa and Merengue.
I am Colombian, that is where my roots are and it has been five years since I have been back to my country.
The first time I took a trip back I had to go visit the grave of my best friend who died in a tragic car accident. The last time I took a trip down, my Grandpa was sick… this time he is no longer with us and I will most likely go visit his grave. That was one of my biggest fears about going back, that people would have changed so much or just not be with us anymore.
Life is about that, it is about that change. Two of my closest friends are pregnant right now and the cycle of life begins once again. Our families seem to shrink and grow with every passing year, and life continues its course.
I am not nostalgic, I am very excited about the trip I am about to take to Colombia in the coming months. I am visiting my country of origin with my wife, someone that happens to be from the same city I am from, someone that I met here in North America but with the same South American roots I have. I get to meet her family for the first time and make my family instantly double.
I admire the people that move away and come back to the place they were born, I even admire those that stay right where they started. I feel a kinship with those that have moved away and had to adopt other ways of living, because it is not an easy thing to do. The world alien bothered me at first when I moved to the U.S. but slowly but surely it felt very fitting to what I experienced when I got here. I am not an American and not an alien anymore, but I still hold my days as a non English speaker close to my heart.
Even though Kansas City is slowly becoming our new home faster than any other place I have been, I still say I am from Chicago or Colombia. Having great friends come into my life make that transition to calling this place home a lot easier… at the same time harder to leave if we ever chose to do that in
our (my – my wife thinks she is a penguin) quest to live with no snow.
I am missing home, I am missing Colombia, partly because my little escape place has been taken way… but mostly because I cannot way to be back there to see so many people that I have not seen in a long time… it has been more than 15 years since I saw some of my classmates… even 20 when you count the grade school ones.