Every time I go back to the US for work I always feel like I get to know myself a little bit better. What I mean by that is I realize how much I’ve changed since I moved to Europe 13 years ago. And also how easy it is to fall right back into my American self when triggered…
I will admit it: when I was living in Boston I was pretty uptight. In general I walked quickly everywhere and huffed and puffed behind slow walkers, used my lunch hour to work out so I didn’t waste any time, got annoyed and impatient easily, and I definitely didn’t have much patience for poor customer service. Also, moving up at work and position/salary were my primary goals.
After living in Spain for more than a decade and adding two small kids to the equation I would say that I’ve mellowed out quite a bit. As a natural consequence of becoming a mother my priorities have changed, especially work-wise, but aside from that I’ve become more comfortable being out of the city enter and taking things slower. Life goes by too quickly.
Being back in NY for me last week was interesting. It was a big change from my normally-mellow days, especially considering the location of my hotel right next to Times Square.
The weekend before my work commitment I was a total tourist with my mother, even including an I love NY t-shirt. (check out the picture below, but especially the lady’s face behind me. She’s probably thinking “another annoying tourst buying sesame balls. If only she knew I’m from Boston) …
The first flashback to pre-Spain me came with a rude person attending us at the tourist Big Bus line. I won’t get into details except for the fact that how she spoke to me prompted me to drop the f-bomb, which I hardly ever do. Boston was back. I’ve also had people recognize my accent right away (which is not the true Boston accent I might add), which surprised me since usually people now tell me I have a weird English-Spanish accent when I speak.
There are things that are nice about being back in the US, especially in NY with the hustle and bustle of the city and so many different things to see. I’ve actually seen NY more now that I live in Europe than I ever did when I lived only four hours away in Boston. For example, I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time during this trip and loved it. So much actually that I escaped one night from work obligations and walked it again. Also shopping – I always manage to find a way to squeeze some of that in while I’m here.
And I’ve taken advantage of my location to run a few times in Central Park, which is amazing. And huge, for being right in the city center. It’s also amazing to me the amount of activity, people running, biking, walking, etc. at 6am. NY really does never sleep!
After a week I saw enough of my Boston side come out that I was ready to get back to Madrid and back to reality. It’s great to be back in the US, but I was happy to go back to my Spanglish accent until work brings me back across the ocean again.