Dear Diary, You’ve Gotten An Earful {Accounts from the Past Four 27th’s}

When I think back on the past four months, everything seems like a huge blur: like I have been sitting in one of the giant spinning teacups at Disneyland, twirling round and round so fast without any desire to slow down or get off. My adventures in Argentina mesh together with the hecticness of Peru and my brief encounters with Uruguay. Like sorting socks from my laundry, I have had to pick apart each piece of my travels and plop them down into separate piles in my head.

Image 1Impressively –and amazingly– so, I’ve kept detailed records of what I’ve done over the past four months in a journal. Today I decided to look back on those entries, and trace through all the strange adventures that have landed me to where I am right now. Doing this, I realized something. Something weird. I noticed that it’s specifically on the 27th of each of the past four months when I’ve found myself at a new milestone. Unbeknownst to me on the 27th of June, 27th of July, 27th of August, and 27th of September, my life drastically changed –whether it be for the best {like spontaneously buying a ticket to my next destination} or for the worst {like ending up in a hospital bed}.

June 27th

I CAN’T DO THISSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was packing to leave for –what should have been– a one-month adventure to Argentina, Machu Picchu, and then straight back to California. And I didn’t want to leave. This was very unlike my sentiments the year before, when I left for my seven-month stint in Barcelona. Back then, I had been so excited and eager to go. But now, getting ready to leave for Argentina, I thought it was a terrible idea. The money I had spent on the plane ticket, I wished {at the time} that I had put towards an apartment. I needed to find a career, for goodness sakes. Maybe apply to grad school like so many friends were doing. I thought two-months down the road to a dim future: I would return to California broke and homeless. I’d have to move in with my dad, deal with my brother, and probably suffer in some dull part-time employment as I dug through the shitty job market in hopes of finding a job. Also, I had just spent an amazing week in Lake Tahoe with my best friends. How could I leave them now? They’d all be together, and now I’m taking off to a different part of the world, abandoning everything I love so much right when we’ve grown our closest post-graduation.

I had no idea at this time that I’d end up starting my career in Argentina, settle down in the crazy, always bustling city of Buenos Aires, and have no more interaction with friends and family back home than sporadic skype dates every so often.

July 27th 

Sitting in front of La garganta del diablo, I realized a few things…..

The week leading up to this date was hectic, to say the least. The 27th marked the end of my last complete week in Buenos Aires. There were many sad good-byes to be said: to the first boy I had ever fallen in love with, to the amazing individuals who had quickly become new best friends, and to the amazing city to whom I’d grown so accustomed. Cue water works.

It was as if in a blink a whole month had gone by, and this journey –just like all of life’s adventures–had to come to an end. On the 27th, the harshness of this end became blatantly apparent as I sat on a 20-hour bus ride to Iguazu Falls, Argentina.

Twenty hours later, I’d end up in front of the most amazing natural wonder I’ve ever seen: La garganta del diablo, Iguazu’s largest waterfall. Cue more water works –though this time, thank god, from Mother Nature…not me. The waterfall sits on a piece of earth that looks as if it’s been torn apart to let floods of water cascade in. Like I said before, this date marked the crossroads of many occurrences and as I stood in front of La garganta del diablo I became overwhelmingly aware of my emotions. I sat down on the watch deck, watching the violent waters flood the center of the earth; questioning everything I knew; wondering if I was making the worst decision of my life by leaving Buenos Aires. It was unlike any feeling I had ever felt before: a combination of a million little emotions, collecting together to form a giant, tumoric mass. As the hole at the bottom of the falls swallowed more water, the cluster of emotions grew heavier and heavier in my heart.

At the time, I never imagined I’d end up back in Buenos Aires 2 months later, eager to piece together this puzzle and start a new life.

August 27th 

I’ve been here for two weeks. I want to figure out my next moves. I want to start a life BUT I don’t think that necessarily means I need to go home now……right?

The above quote was followed by a “Shit I Know How To Do” list, basically proving how unsure I was about my situation and, sadly, myself. It eventually deteriorated into a list of weird talents, including –but oh so not limited to– mincing garlic, saying tongue twisters really fast, and giving presents.

Five sentences into this entry, and it’s obvious it’s from my time in Peru: I’m writing after a long night of working in the bar, laughing about something a co-worker did, complaining about something a boy did, with handwriting that conveys I was clearly hungover.

I described how my co-workers told me I looked like a rabid dog as I greeted them with bloodshot eyes, smeared eyeliner, and cracking lips –an appearance not unsimilar to theirs’. I described how I grabbed a water from the bar fridge and headed down to the hostel’s hammock to lounge until my shift began. I described the falafel I shared with Gabriel at 6a.m. that morning in Plaza de Armas. I described my shock when the guy I was dating told me he had a girlfriend but wanted to “work something out.” I described how I was to delete him from my mind forever, yet how I would take a shot in his honor that evening.

Then a series of doodles follows, forming a countdown to my 22nd birthday which was the upcoming week. I remember drawing these doodles, feeling slightly more nauseous than usual, but attributing it only to the pisco from the night before. Little did I know I’d end up in a hospital a few days later with E. Coli poisoning, and thus spend part of my 22nd lying in a hospital bed, with syringes full of antibiotics as my only birthday cake. This day would also meld my decision to skip traveling through the Peruvian jungle and Bolivia, and instead, buy a plane ticket straight back to my city, Buenos Aires.

September 27th

It’s 5 o’clock in the morning….

This date marks two drastic changes. The first was my transition from being a hostel-hopper to the proud renter of my first Buenos Aires apartment. I wrote about my beautiful new apartment; how I needed to start applying for jobs found on Craigslist; my desperate need for new socks; and how excited I was about my new leather leggings.

But what mostly dominated my diary entry was what would become the second drastic change of that date: a series of confused emotions that would lead me to fall out of love. I ended up publishing a post a few days later, reconciling these emotions into a series of quotes. The snippet below is from that post, and links back to that day.

The experience really opened me up to a lot more emotions then I’ve been in touch with before. Simply put, I thought couples were stupid –now, I don’t. Love exists. I get it. And although I’ve tried hundreds of times to write down my emotions –even just for myself– I can’t figure out how to put them into words. So to convey this big big BIG part of my life, I’ve resorted to a collection of quotes to help express what I have to say and thus, air my dirty laundry. Cuz this is all a part of the journey of leaving my comfortable life, traveling South America, falling in love with people and places, and finding myself. And I’m ready to move on and keep experiencing more …but first it helps to completely wring out your other emotions first.

And now here I am, on October 27th. Although I have yet to write in my diary today, I can foreshadow the entry will have something to do with the amazing salad I had today; how much I loved texting my friends back home all weekend; the eye-opening life talks I had with my new italian friend; my Fernet-fueled Saturday night on the terrace; and how excited I am to get back to work tomorrow to continue a new project I’ve been working on.

If you don’t already have one yet, I highly encourage you to begin writing a journal. No matter what you’re doing, it’s always interesting, thought-provoking, or sometimes just plain hilarious to look back on what you were doing or who you once were. I also use it as a good way to unwind. At the end of the day, I begin writing down random thoughts, which eventually turns into a long entry, unveiling thoughts I didn’t even know I had. Once I’m down, I feel as if I’ve talked through everything {uppers, downers, the good, the bad, the ugly, the mean reds, the blues} with a friend, and I can sleep lightly after brushing the weight of the world from my shoulders.

Also, I’d like to end with a “Happy Birthday” to Ford, whose bday was a few days ago. An incredible friend to all who touched the lives of more people than he realizes. Happy birthday, buddy

Besos xox and buenas noches

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