I want to say that I left Aruba on august 1st 2015. I came back in December for 1 month, and came back now for 2. which means I only stayed overseas for 9 months. the exact amount of time it takes for a new life to be ready. which is very ironic since I almost feel like I got a rebirth. Somewhere in my room, in my mothers house, when I was 16 I wrote ‘eventually all of this will leave you, but you truly have to make peace with your demons’.

many people think- (and though part of it is true) that I left Aruba out of ambition, but I didn’t. I did not leave, I was a girl that was running away from her own life. my bitterness and resentment was never with the island. it was with my own life, with the things I was put through and unknowingly put myself through as well. my need to just blame it on something. it was my ache of being a child of the diaspora that didn’t know what to do or where she belonged. being here, but never being fully from here. my broken relationship with my mom, my own resentment towards choices my family members made, my endless believe that everyone could do a little better if they just tried but who was I really to judge?

here’s where I want to say that I may not be the same anymore, that I’ve changed perspective on who I want to become and
I am glad it only took me 9 months to realize that this is what it is, and it is something worth coming back to. as messy as it may be. this was the life I was given, the mother I had, the absent father, the crazy cousins. it all has a purpose and I was either going to accept it or I was going to run forever. now I understand why I kept coming back, the same way I understand that now probably I can stay away longer. because I got my closure, I got my peace.

I was born in The Dominican Republic but really, anyone can give birth, it was Aruba who raised me. as tough as my up bring was. I no longer feel sorry for myself for all the pain I have been through, I no longer apologize for struggling.
and I will come back eventually, and I’ll make my mother proud, and I’ll make myself proud and abroad I will tell everyone, that I come from a place that remembers. a place that reacts to my presence. a place where the people who work at the food trucks, see you enjoying the music and turn the volume up ‘pa bo gosa di dje’. and if anyone ever catches me tripping, if you ever catch me forgetting this and claiming some other land, please slap me.

Aruba,
you are the shaking hips of my heart. eres el cuero del tambor.
I will love you my whole life.
and I am sorry I ever said that I didn’t.

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