BA ReflectedBuenos Aires, Fall 2011
Once I got back to America, I did what any respectable citizen who had just blown his inheritance, piggybank money, and all parental goodwill halfway around the world would do: I went searching for a job. And, considering I woke up at 2 PM today, it’s pretty easy to tell that I didn’t have much success. I applied for a couple of seasonal employment jobs unsuccessfully and an unpaid law internship successfully; so, in short, a total failure in terms of money.
Like many failures in my life, I tried to rationalize this one as best I could. Here’s what I came up with: college is a stressful time, but not for the work per se. I can read and/or write pages upon pages about subjects that interest me without ever really feeling pressured. It’s the stuff that I don’t choose to do, the work that gets piled on me like I’m Giles Cory, that really gets me. I know I ask for it, and I know it’s going to greatly benefit me indirectly one day, but in the moment, I’m doing it for someone else. I’m doing it for the jobs, the companies, the institutions THE MAN DANGIT. That’s what all college kids are reduced to at some level: helping someone else so they can help themselves later.
Perhaps that’s what was so refreshing about Buenos Aires. I literally created a life completely for myself for six months. I traded in the academic fulfillment and the comfort of Amherst, Massachusetts for the cultural and social fulfillment of Argentina, a place where I met scores of people I will never see again and a place where I wouldn’t go to the local McDonald’s sometimes, despite my hunger, because I was scared of ordering in a non-English language. My bank account, parents, potential employers, and Emily may not like the decision I made, but I like it a lot. I do not regret these past few months at all.
This feeling was emphasized earlier today when I received a text from a good friend of mine who will be in Buenos Aires in the spring. She had received her housing assignment and told me her future address. Chalk it up to God, coincidence, or whatever you use to justify the magnificent situations of life, but it turns out she will be living about a block from where I lived for four months. Suddenly, the environment surrounding the streets of Mansilla y Ecuador came rushing back. I could almost taste the best choripan in BA, conveniently located 15 seconds from my house. I could eavesdrop on the conversations I couldn’t understand. I could hide in the shade to the avoid the sweltering Buenos Aires sunshine. Future employers may not hire me, but they definitely can never, ever take those sensations away from me. See, I’m pretty good at rationalizing when I choose to.
So I’ll leave you with that though. During a point in my life where I’m doing so much for other people, Buenos Aires was something done for myself. Thanks for reading my blog. I’m going to go enjoy America now.
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