Monday, July 12, 2010

Fourth Anniversary

It's hard to believe that it has been almost four years since I moved back to the island. In some ways it seems like it just happened yesterday, but in other ways it seems like I've been here forever. Perhaps this feeling of ambivalence may sound perplexing to some. Although I was born here, because of my almond-shaped eyes, most people assume that I'm a foreigner or a tourist. Once they hear me speak Spanish, they are fascinated and ask me a bunch of questions. This happens quite often, and I've come to find it amusing and often chuckle about it. While living here for the past few years, I've lost count how many times strangers have struck up conversations with me. In New York, which I still consider my home, I can count them off in one hand!

Since living in Puerto Rico, I've become a lot more open-minded and appreciative of the smallest things in life. Living outside your comfort zone forces you to adapt to your environment. Otherwise, you'll just have to surrender and return to the old and familiar. It's all about perspective. You can either see the glass as half full or half empty. I choose the former. One of the things I love about living on this island is that it has forced me to learn and grow by leaps and bounds. I enjoy being outside of my element, because through such experiences you have a better sense of yourself and your place in this world. Many who move to the island from the mainland tend to have a lengthy list of complaints. This is something which I've always found to be irritating because it's completely futile and counterproductive. One thing I always tell people who are thinking of moving to the Puerto Rico is to never expect things on the island to be the same as they are in the U.S., because they simply aren't.

On the other hand, looking back to these past four years, time seems to have stood still because nothing much has changed in terms of the island's politics, which seems to be more fractured and polarized than before. Crime levels remain high, and the economy is still in the doldrums. Although the island's governor was from the red party (Partido Popular Democrático) four years ago, and the current governor is from the blue party (Partido Nuevo Progresista), it's more of the same. Unfortunately, in terms of the island's quality of life, I cannot say that it has improved at all. Then again, most parts of the world seem to be in a similar predicament.


Rosa said...

Thanks for such a great input, I can see that your glass is half full! It made me feel good. I have a house in Rincon and you are right, so many people move to PR looking for the good things that they find in the states, and they and they are disappointed. This island is what it is, stop complaining and enjoy life.

adriana said...

Hello Rosa,

Thanks for your comment! Glad you enjoyed reading it!

Living in a different culture forces one to learn and grow in many ways. I wouldn't be the same person that I am today had I remained in NY. :)