In Betweenness

I have a theory that there are two types of people in our world: people who thrive on change, and people who well, don’t. I am the latter. Change creates stress for me. Even seemingly good or exciting changes still creates this inner need to obsessively label boxes, organize and re-arrange cupboards and write seemingly unimportant things on post-its. This is how I cope with change. Or sometimes I just cry.

I think some people’s tears are hardwired to their anger or their empathy. However, mine are hardwired to change. Dear friends (and complete strangers) take note: I cry when there is change. And this past week there have been more than a few tears shed. I have been packing up my current apartment, so I can move into my new place in January. {insert: change} I’ve been trying to finish up work proposals and lessons here, before the new school year starts. {insert: more change} And at the same time I’m preparing to come home to visit. Two words that still feel like they don’t belong in the same sentence “home” and “visit.” {insert: Big change}

In·be·tween·ness

In·be·tween·ness: \in- bi-ˈtwēn\ n. is defined as the feeling or state of being pulled between two often-contrary things. (definition courteous of me) In the past 6 months I’ve had a lot of in-betweenness in my life. Sometimes I feel like I am swinging back and forth between two worlds. Two cultures. Two languages. Two different currencies. Two different ways of being. My cell phone language changes daily between English and Spanish, depending on who I am texting. My mind constantly converts dollars to quetzals and quetzals to dollars, depending on what I am purchasing. And sometimes my heart feels this pull between the here and there. Especially now as I head back to California, I feel the in-betweenness.

Here I am

I’m still figuring out this whole cross-cultural living thing. I am often reminded that I am not from here (Guatemala that is.) I will always be a little taller, a little whiter and little bit different. There are jokes I don’t get, and traditions and customs that I still don’t understand. But at the same time this is where I live right now and I am grateful and content. This feels like home, but now I am heading back to my other home. Back to California, where my family and sweet friends await me. Where I can smell the ocean and lie on the Mission lawn and consume all the wonderful conveniences that Trader Joe’s has to offer.

So I continue to swing. Back and forth, back and forth. In-between Guatemala and California. In between Spanish and English. In between where I am from and where I am going. Estoy aqui. So, I am here, somewhere in-between.

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5 thoughts on “In Betweenness

  1. Krista, I went to TJs and thought of you! I brought back a few things that I could fit in my suitcase. Wish I could had brought YOU to the store with me!

  2. Thank you! I am in between Ecuador and California just returned Thursday night and yesterday was reeling! My daughter reads you and “just happened” to forward this yesterday. It was crazy and helpful to know I am not going out of my mind, nor am I alone! Que Dios le bendiga.

  3. Elizabeth, yes…I am sure you understand the in-between better than most. Glad this post resonated with you. Please stay in touch! Cuidate!

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