Tonight I was listening to some Latin music that I had found while traveling through Guatemala’s touristy cities and sitting in cafes and restaurants. I love Latin music but it means something different for me now. Something about Guatemala (and Latino culture too I think) is how joyful and celebratory their world is. Yeah sometimes I felt like parties lasted forever, but I always got food! Sometimes the music was too loud for my ears but there was always dancing!
I miss walking through the streets and hearing music, children, seeing colorful houses and tiny puppies running around. But mostly I miss the dancing. While I was in Guatemala, I was invited to a Quincenera. There was all kinds of music and food and my roommate and I even joined in the dancing with los chicos. Everything was so exciting and…celebrating. I wish I knew how to bring that back to my life here.
I always thought of myself as a person who is relatively good at parties. Let’s be honest, I’m loud, occasionally funny and definitely not afraid of jumping in. I have lots of friends and enjoy laughing and creating trouble with them.But for whatever my partying skills are worth, they are nothing like the people I met in Guatemala. And I didn’t realize it until I came back to the States, but in some ways, I feel like that part of me…the celebrating part of me…was so much more appreciated in Guatemala. I miss people who felt like I understood them through my celebration of them. Or people who understood and celebrated me.
I don’t think it is a bad thing to find a piece of yourself that is drawn out especially in another country. But it is hard to come home and feel like no one understands the true meaning of your being. For me, its laughter and parties and having a good time. Most of what moves me is simple and uncomplicated- I just want people to be laughing. And in Guatemala, dancing, music and good food where everywhere. People were expressive in ways that simply cannot be matched in the States. That’s hard for me.
Anyways, as I’m moving forward with the transition back to home, something I will be keeping in mind is how to maybe bring out some of that joy and celebration here in America…even if people get annoyed. Truth is, I think they need it too.