Culture / DNMP Unplugged / Dominican Republic / Family / Langauge / Latin America / Quarter Life / Stereotypes

When your house is no longer your home…

The holidays are a great time to be with family, reminisce and have your favorite fatting food! But recently I have acknowledged that the holidays are also a time to see how just how far you have come. For example, last year, I realized that the house I grew up in is no longer my home. Don’t get me wrong-I love my house and my room is still my room not my mom’s new office-studio but it is not my home which is why this is titled, “When your house is no longer your home…”

Last Christmas I came “home” from the Dominican Republic and after four months I was SOOO ready to come back to the States so that I could make some local phone calls, get a fast home internet connection and speak English to more than two people. However what I found once in the States is that making those phone calls, getting that fast home internet connection and speaking English was well…over rated. I also discovered that I was lost- I didn’t recognize the music on the radio, I found myself craving verdes and maduros and that it was hard to express myself completely in English. Part of these feelings were a classic case of the “grass is greener on the other side,” but part of these feelings were me, me realizing that after four months Calle Proyecto Numero 37, El Portal, Kilómetro Siete y medio had become my home. After the holidays, my arrival to the Dominican Republic was like a homecoming. I was never so happy to see Dominicans. Even in the U.S. airports I just knew when I was approaching my gate because the dominicanisms became more and more apparent: the LARGE boxes to bring back to primos and hijos, women wearing four inch heals and even the baseball debates- How about those Yankees? Once I landed en La República it was a sigh of relief: I recognized the ads on the walls, the actions of the people around me and even better I could sing along to the songs on the radio!

This year I have come “home” from Seattle once again after about four months of living there and once again I find myself having the same feelings that I had last year…that this house I grew up in is no longer my home. I mean the house looks great, my parents have completely redecorated the place, but I find myself missing the First Avenue Bridge, vegan cookies & sweets, even that nasty I-5 and being able to recycle.

In two days my family and friends will be coming together to celebrate the birth of Christ through food, fellowship and favors. Christmas is always a time to appreciate all that you have and all those that you have in your life-the gifts are a nice touch- but I have come to realize that the best gift the Lord gives me for Christmas is realizing that where I am is not as bad as I thought even though I am away from family and friends and find it hard to relate to those around. With this gift He also shows me I have become apart of wherever I am and wherever I live and to me that is a wonderful gift-to realize that my house is my home and I am talking about the place where I pay rent😉

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