Sense of belonging revisited.
I honestly don’t remember questioning who I am but I have questioned time and time again exactly where I belong. I have tried to write about this in the past and going over some of my entries relating to this matter i have noticed that my definition of belonging is extremely broad and I think it is dependent to who we end up being or who we think we are. I know it sounds deep but I am not that deep of a person so I will try to explain exactly what I just said.
When most people think about “belonging” i think it is not only natural but logical to assume it has mostly to do with where you are from geographically speaking, where you were born, and/or where you were raised. Obviously this will change eventually depending on where life takes you… maybe you were born in Helsinki but your parents moved to Buenos Aires, and that became your “home”… were you went to school, learned how to ride a bike, etc, I refuse to get corny, plenty of time for that later on this post… point is you feel Argentinian more than Finnish.
I have been privileged enough to visit many cities across the globe and only with very very few I can say to myself: I could live here. Some of those cities are my former home of Boston, my current home of Los Angeles of course, but also London, Buenos Aires and Barcelona, Spain. Now, living somewhere you enjoy does not guarantee a feeling of being “at home” and much less “belonging.” My sense of belonging had mostly to do with where my family and friends where, simply put because i equated, logically again, friends and family with happiness and because it was “what i know”… This has changed over time due to a plethora of things of course but the constant of it all I think is the word happiness.
I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, but i moved to Boston when I was an early teenager and lived there for 2 years, the first of many in the US. I made tons of friends, loved the new life, i felt like i was living in a movie… my high school in Brookline, MA made me feel like i was in an episode of “Saved By The Bell” … I made friends like I said, great ones, ones that still to this day, over 10 years later, are still close to me; but you always have a feeling that its “not home” and I think it was always something that people assumed for me… it did feel like home, and so did Caracas.
I’m the in between guy… woah that sounded a little weird… hahaha. I am the guy that just like Luis Enrique says on his song Autobiografía: “No soy de aquí ni soy de allá” … I’m not from here nor there. When in LA i feel like, and this is not a bad thing, a foreigner and I enjoy it. When I come to Caracas I don’t feel at complete ease. Of course it has to do with the political climate and many other things but again, the underlying factor is unquestionable: happiness. Why? how can I not feel I belong in the city that saw me grow? where I lived for so many years? where I learned to play soccer, you get the idea… why?? In this point in my life, my career as a musician is crucial to my happiness, there’s just no other way around it. Some people might think its not the “right” thing to do, but all I can say right now is that what I want to accomplish in my life is not geographically tied to any other place that Los Angeles, California. But then again, how can it be home without mom or dad? without my sister? without my closest and oldest friends?? Makes little sense. There is no substitute to physical presence of course and my family and friends are paramount to my happiness but I cannot lie to myself and or condition my happiness to a single city, or i guess what the real point is not conditioning those things to the city or place where most people think makes the most sense or is “natural” and even worse “logical.” I know this is all very confusing but this is highly cathartic for me and the contradictions in this blog are a perfect example of the turmoil my head has to deal with from time to time, specially days before leaving or the first few days i’m back… wherever that is…. Edits should probably be made, i should proof read this time and time again but I like the raw nature of it… yeah, i’m badass.
One thing I can tell you, to conclude, why I am so passionate about Los Angeles and it has to do with my students… private students and all my kids at SOR. I thank you for teaching ME. I found my calling and I am eternally grateful for that.
I think i’m a little sentimental and anxious because i’m spending the last few days in my house, the apartment where I grew up. The one place geographically where I can pinpoint infinite amounts of triumphs, laughs, tears, etc… The city will remain the same and of course my parents and friends are untouchable, but again, my definition of belonging shifts now its almost dependent of this one apartment.
I wonder what it will be in 10 days.