Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The End of an Adventure

Two weeks from today, I fly back to the US and the Great Colombian Adventure officially comes to a close. I have very mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I'm very excited to be going back to the US, to see my family, to begin the next step in my professional development, and to become reaquainted with my culture. On the other, I'm a bit sad to leave Colombia's good parts, I'm a little concerned about what I'm going to find, and I certainly don't want to leave my wife behind for the 4 month period that we are planning to be apart.

Of course, Colombia will never really be in the rear view mirror. I married a Colombian and my kids will be half Colombian. We will visit as often as we can and we shall raise our kids to be aware of their dual, equally valuable heritage. But the days of living in Colombia, those are over. I seriously doubt I'll ever come back to live and if I did, it would be as a very old man in search of easy retirement. That is a really weighty statement and it's one that I'm not entirely sure if my wife has thought through. In fact, I'm fairly convinced that she is actively avoiding thinking of all the implications of our decision, as would most of us, I imagine.

As I mentioned above, I'm a bit concerned about what I'm going to find in the US. I married a Latina and in my country, race matters (unfortunately). On top of that, we're going to Atlanta, a modern city in the hub of the South, America's traditional racist core. It's very likely that I have little to be concerned with. Atlanta is, after all, a modern city with modern ideas, not to mention a huge Latino population (over 15,000 Colombians alone). But I still worry. I don't want my wife or my kids to be subjected to America's racial politics.

More than my petty worries, however, is the irrepresable conclusion that one chapter of my life is closing as another opens. This chapter was of falling in love, getting married, meeting and immersing myself in a new language and culture, and strengthening the bonds of the most important relationship in my life. In a sense, this was a chapter of growing up, of preparation of what is to come. The next chapter is one of adulthood. It involves me finally having taken a decision about my career and future. It will involve the arrival of children and everything that goes with that. It is, in a certain sense, a huge step, but a step that I am overeager to take. And ultimately, I believe it is a step we could not have taken in Colombia.

I'll sum up with a final thought. I'm big on symmetry. When everything balances out I'm happy. So how's this for balance:

When we left London, my wife went to Colombia while I stayed in the US for 4 months.
Now I'm going to the US while my wife will stay in Colombia for 4 months.

Our roles have officially juxtaposed.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Political Favorites
Guilty Pleasures
My Global Position