The Old Neighborhood

So we wa20140909_153805ndered the streets and I got lost. I knew we were close but I kept taking shortcuts that ended up putting us in the wrong direction. Michael was patient even though he was starving. We ran into a random empanada shop and got a small snack. An empanada is a flaky pocket of pastery filled with meats, cheeses, or any other number of fillings. They were yummy except that they were a bit cold in the middle so the cheese didn’t quite melt. Otherwise they were a great introduction to what we would be eating over the next few weeks. Empanadas are everywhere in Buenos Aires and are cheap and filling.20140909_161636 2

Finally we turned a corner and there was the park that I spent so much time staring down into. Park Guemes was dirtier than I remember but the big jagged statue was the same. They also have a bike share program here and this is one of the stations.

We stopped for a minute as I reminisced. The restaurant across the street where we had so many meals and where I had banana splits for breakfast after a long nights of partying. I walked to the building I spent a year caged up in. I looked up at the room that I spent all my days waiting for my boyfriend to come home. It was a great year of heavy partying but I didn’t learn Spanish and I didn’t make many friends. I was very isolated. Don’t get me wrong, I was there by my own choice. I thought I was in love.

It was a great year and it was a horrible year. But I grew a lot and learned so much about myself. In the end when we broke up, I crashed and burned. I became anorexic, contemplated plastic surgery, and was very self-destructive. I was a mess.20140909_123152

But I picked myself up. And I finally found my own way. I moved in my own apartment, got a job, learned Spanish, and made my own friends. I really went deep inside myself and found out who I really was. And not until I was better, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, would I let myself go back to Canada.

I guess you could say it was a really transformative time. So this place holds a special place in my heart. I looked up at my old place and felt grateful for the times I had there. I walked down the streets that I had walked up and down so many times, to the grocery store we used to shop, and to the mall we used to visit. Nothing was different. But nothing was the same.

Grateful for bravery.

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