Spain, I Love You
When we met I thought you’d be nothing more than a rebound. I had just gotten out of a serious relationship with New York City. Naively, I believed it was going to last forever. My heart broke the day I realized, New York and I were in different places. When I met you a few months later I was heartbroken and still in love. So I told you a year, maybe two, tops. Nothing serious. I was only looking have fun. Right.
I overestimated myself. I always get too attached too quickly. Not that you gave me a choice, what with your beautiful plazas, good cheap wine, and love of cured meat. You played to all my weaknesses. Everything about you was so exotic, so interesting. In spite of myself, I let your old world charm seduce me. After a while I couldn’t deny, I had fallen fast and hard. I worshiped you. That was in the beginning.
It’s been three years now. As with any long-term relationship, we’ve had our ups and downs. You were the first place in a long time that felt like home, which is strange because I have no family or ties here. After so many years of bouncing between families, coasts, relationships, you gave me a place where I could finally sit still. You made me want to sit still and that's hard.
Some of the best moments in my life happened here, with you. You challenged me to grow and offered me perspective. I’m not the same person I was when we met. I’m a better person. While you and I both know I’m not perfect, I love the person you’ve helped me become and for that I will always be grateful.
And yet, there are days when I hate you. I just don’t understand you. Worse, you don't understand me. I ask myself why. Why must you make everything so difficult? Why must everything always be YOUR way? We’d fight. I’d scream. We’d make up. Poco a poco, we've learned to understand each other.
Now we’re like an old married couple. I know so many of your quirks but in many ways your still a stranger to me. I've gotten so used to you, at times I don't appreciate everything you are. We still make love but a lot of the excitement has faded.
And yeah, sometimes I think of what it would be like to be with someone else, like San Francisco or Seattle, somewhere where the food culture is more international or where I’m not the only person of color. I know that with them the excitement and newness would eventually fade away too, but at least we'd share the same culture. Part of me can’t help but wonder—would I be happier with them?
We’re different. Sometimes I love that about us and sometimes it makes me want to leave. But what would I do then? There are so many things I’d miss; little things mostly like your dedication to fresh baked bread. We’ve been together for so long, I’m not sure where home is anymore. You've made me a hybrid of a person, not completely American or Spanish. It would be hard to go back, but would it be harder than staying?
I don't know what our future holds. I can't promise you forever, but I am here now, trying to make it work with you. Love is a choice. That’s what makes us beautiful, because for the past 1095 days, I’ve chosen to love you even when I hate you. Tomorrow, I’ll choose to do so again. No matter where I am in the world Spain, I will love you. Happy anniversary.
a beautiful mess, available at amazon.com
say yes to your mess