This is where the name blue streak becomes evident to anyone who had any doubt. I am here to bitch about Spain. For anyone that knows me that is reading this, you will know that I am in love with Spain while at the same time critical of it, usually in a half-joking way, but sometimes I am deeply frustrated by it. We have a highly complex relationship, Spain and I.
Having gone through a spell of nostalgia and homesickness, I began to seek out information on people I had long lost track of, and Google and other networking websites aided this process. I did not need to search to know that my two best friends from college, an Art major and an English major had long since been on a successful career track. The former working as a high-profile artist in Seattle whose breathtaking paintings, posters of which are mass sold, I seem to find everywhere I look and the latter working as an editor and a writer (I suppose, any English majors´dream job). But upon my searches I became aware of news on three friends I used to party with in college who were your typical hemp-wearing hippy-types that were majoring in Communications. The first works in the film industry in New York City, the second manages a well-known Jazz band in New Orleans and the third has been nominated for two Emmy Awards for his production work with the NBA and Sacramento Kings. Over the holidays I caught up with my old roommate from my study abroad semester, a Marketing major at the time, who is now living it large in Manhattan working for the Wall Street Journal in advertisement.
Was everyone I used to know just brilliant??? Is it possible that for a small cross-section of my life I happened to cross paths with abnormally diligent, success-driven, and talented people (disguised at the time as prototypical pot-heads)? Or are these people from my past just quintessential Americans, and I have somehow gotten away from that essence, having given it up for the pretty plazas with the cervecitas and the puentes? Am I in a place where brilliant people have less success at realization? Is it this place? Or is it the people and the stereotype of lazy Spaniards has some truth to it? This is, after all, the land of the funcionarios and aspiring funcionarios (civil servants).
Maybe people would think of my life and this would arouse similar romantic notions. Que bonito, I came to Spain on a whim followed my heart and here I am, living life to the fullest. But there is something dreadful in my suspicion that America really is the land of opportunity that I have left behind – not because it just exists as such but because the people make things happen there in ways I do not seem to see here, despite everyone around me be being some type of doctor or expert or architect or engineer. And what is my excuse for not making something grand of myself (aside from the obvious lack of brilliance)? Is it the inspiration that is lacking?
Maybe for an expat like me (and I consider myself to be a fairly average, usually happy human) it takes up so much of my persona just to accomodate this thing called culture that it almost feels like there is no room for anything else.
But that is bullshit.
So here´s to being something other than just bicultural. I have to find what it is. Hey, I said I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up and I was not kidding.