Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Home Is Where The Roots Are

I was on the subway on my way back from an evening soiree at a new friend's place when I was overcome by this sincere weight of displacement and frustration. It was the type of situation where a caricature representation on the silver screen would represent something of a Alice in Wonderland cut-away, with myself as a small figurine amongst flying buffalo or elephant balloons. It had this destabilizing effect where, in a moments notice, I abandoned all plans and jumped out of the next subway stop, which luckily was my own.

In a blind effort to put my finger on this sentiment, I realized this newfound emotion. I have been traveling since I was 17, living abroad, constantly traveled becoming rolling stone of the new century, a caballero andante of sorts. I have never looked back and never, ever looked down. It was my motto to expose myself to as many things as possible, from meager new foods to extravagant parades. I was functioning under some immature infatuation with the ability to recall forlorn adventures to the far east, starring absurd characters in some tangential interference with my life. But, when I return to look at a cast of characters, everyone seems to be guest starring and only I retain the headline as a starring role. So who is there to share in the box-office reviews?

But I digress. I finally find no problem with returning home and guest starring in the role of my family, in growing roots and nourishing the relationships I started with. I always find that I am comparing and contrasting to my roots, so why not just return to the roots and find out for myself.

My new year's resolution has been to become more authentic, in fact it has been for the past two years, in fact it probably has become more of a life goal. But the essence of that goal has been where I had least expected it, at home, with family and old friends. The more I stay out in different countries and meet different people, the most attractive thing about it is what makes me who I am, all things that I have learned growing up. I wore a Lakers jersey the other night to a bar and became a total hit.

It is ironic since the past few years I have tried desperately to fit in and immerse myself in a culture the was never mine, when all along the attractiveness I possessed came from red-white-and-blue self. My ex-pat friends who have lived abroad for years still feel, especially in time of need, that they are never fully embraced. That when a Christmas or New Years comes around, they are always invited under pity votes. So why do we continue to force ourselves? For the story? Who cares? My story is that I am going to have a family and group of friends with deep roots that grow to an unwavering tree.

So let's go back faithful followers, let's venture into known territory, let's stir a home-cooked meal and kick our feet up. Let's take grandma out for dinner and kick the ball around with Uncle, let's get latin on our families and local on our friends.

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