I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been the “new girl.”
Born in Argentina to Brazilian parents, I was practically born bilingual. At home I experienced my parents’ Brazilian culture, and at school the Argentines. My parents, however, were always actively trying to adapt to Argentina and its culture, to “become one of them.” My mother, bless her heart, would speak to me mostly in Portuguese at home, but with some selective Spanish words mixed in (she always called a jacket a campera, in Spanish, even if speaking to me in Portuguese). As a consequence, I never understood that campera was not an actual word in Portuguese until I moved to Brasil a few years later.
“Who’s that girl that speaks Portuguese funny?” some curious and nosey four year old probably asked another of his classmates.
“Oh, she’s the new girl. Speaking of her, what on earth is a campera?”
From birth, it seems, I’ve been her. It takes me at least ten minutes to think of all the different cities and towns and states I’ve lived in. The countries I can count fast enough (four, boom!). It sounds like it would be fun and thrilling, but it sucked when I was growing up. It specially sucked when I moved to the United States and had to learn a whole new language and a whole new culture I knew nothing about. It also didn’t help that, when I felt like I was getting accostumed to one place, my parents would be hauled to another. Insert here the story of me eating lunch in the bathroom alone (one of the saddest, most depressing events in my life. Also the least hygienic). But so life went in the Bastian clan: 6th grade in one city, seventh grade in another, half of eight grade in one state, half of high school in another… two different high schools, until finally… college.
You’d think that once I got to college, I’d settled down a bit. But two and a half years in and I was leaving for Paris.
After graduation, I moved back home.
A year after that, I moved accross the country.
And a year from now, if it all works out, I’ll be moving again. And the thought of a new city excites me. It freaking excites me.
So how did this happen? Surely I hated being the new girl, every second of it. But maybe I got so used to all the commotion of moving (dooo dooo, do the locomotion!) that now I find myself unable to stay in one place for too long. Unable to call any four walls a home.
Or maybe some people were meant to lead a stationary life, and maybe I was meant to run. Run until I can find some place that I love so much I can’t bare to leave it behind, or find someone just as wild to run with me forever.
Or, here’s a newly found explanation
funded on the most recent and advanced medical research I just made up: I have SDD- stationary deficit disorder.
Regardless of the reasons why I continue to find myself restless after a year or two of being in the same city, I guess I better get re-accostumed with the title of “new girl.” It doesn’t seem like it’ll be going anywhere anytime soon.