Posts Tagged: #transitions

Sweet Dreams

Have you ever dreamed the same thing over and over again?

Many of my dreams include houses. I used to dream repeatedly about a two-story house with a center staircase. Though I haven’t dreamed about it lately, it’s still very vivid in my mind and I wonder if it actually exists somewhere.

I’ve also had this dream before, the one about mail. The setting is usually different, but the result is the same.

Revisiting Re-Entry

It’s snowing here. Ever so lightly, but snowing. The sun’s trying to peek through, but the clouds are winning. I’m watching the fat flakes fall as I eat lentil soup, bought at the deli over on Nostrand. I will miss being able to walk a couple of blocks to the deli. And the grocery, the bagel place, the bank, the health food shop, the nail salon, the hipster coffee shop.

Next week, I’m going back to the Land of Enchantment, where it’s sunny 280+ days per year and you have to drive everywhere. I might call it a trade-off…if I were a sun-lover.

The Happiness Factor

mural-braids“¿Estás contenta aquí?” My Chilean friend asked me. “Are you happy here?”

I responded “Yes,” but then I started to think about why she didn’t ask me if I were “feliz.” Happy. What’s the difference?

The word “happy” is frequently thrown around among English speakers, but we generally don’t ask people if they’re “content.” Compared with being “happy,” which is defined as feeling delighted, pleased, or joyful, “content” feels less-than, like meh, pablum.

In Chile, someone loaned me a copy of Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project. Gretchen was a New Yorker who wanted to change her life. She wasn’t a scientist or psychologist, just a wife and mom looking for more happiness out of daily life.

5 Reasons Expat Friendships Are Easier

unnamed-15Tomorrow, I will have been back in Albuquerque for four weeks. Seems like yesterday. Seems like a hundred years.

I want to write, but darned if I know what to write about. Do you want to hear about my comparison of bread and cookies? Would you rather hear about how everywhere I turn here something reminds me of Phillip? Can I whine about how miserably hot it is? If I did, would you sympathize with me or tell me to suck it up? ¡Aguanta no mas!

Dare I mention the crazy political climate that makes my stomach churn and leaves me feeling choice-less, voiceless, hopeless, and helpless?

Have I Mentioned…

SandiasBack in the US for precisely two weeks now, the one question everyone asks me is “How long are you here for?”

Some people seem to expect a concrete answer to that question, but they don’t know me very well. What I’d originally planned as a visit to the US has now turned into a full repatriation. But it feels temporary.

Those who know me best are not surprised by the real answer, which is “I don’t know.” I can’t imagine not going back overseas.

Hail Mary, Full of Grace

Virgen de la MercedI popped into church today. Just stopped in, as I’ve often done over the past five years. I’m not catholic, but I like to sit and look at the statue of the Virgin Mary at the Basilica de la Merced in downtown Santiago.

It’s cool and peaceful inside, painted to resemble pink marble. There’s a center aisle and the pews are lined up on either side, in two sections. before and after the hanging pulpit.

Behind the altar, a statue of the Virgin Mary is set into a niche with a royal blue background. She’s wearing a flowing, white cape and a silver crown.

Life’s Landscapes

El Quisco sunsetJust like life’s landscapes, things are constantly changing.

Though my intention, when I moved to Chile, was to stay forever and ever, I find that every year, I’m traveling more and more. At this point, I’m away from Chile more than I’m here, so I’ve made the decision not to renew the lease on my Santiago apartment. To maintain an apartment here year-round no longer makes sense.

Irritated

IMG_1585It rained here last week and folks got really excited. I might have been more enthusiastic had it rained more than a few drops in El Centro or had I realized that it was the first and only rain this year in Santiago. It cleared the air for about ten minutes, long enough for me to capture this photo of “Sunset on the Andes after Rain.”

Just joking about the ten minutes. The air was better for a day or so, not coating my throat with dust and pollution as it had been since I got back here on April Fool’s Day.