Memories of home: the dream and reality of coming back

With my mom and my dad, Santa Cruz, Bolivia, 1992.

“In a way, the destiny of the immigrant is to always be missing somebody, wherever you are.”

Jasmine Garsd

I came back to live in Santa Cruz after 16 years because, ever since I left, I was trapped by a feeling of being uprooted, a feeling that never left my side. No matter how much I tried I felt out of place. I was not able to identify myself with anything. Everything was foreign. With the few things that were mine, I felt the need to watch over them with ferocity, it was as if the consolation of my uprootedness was to protect and appreciate the few things I got left (my language, my culture, my memories). It was hard to share my life with other people. With the exception of the ones I loved. I did not share myself with sincerity with anybody, for the fear of loosing myself in the life of other people, of loosing myself in unfamiliar places, for the fear of distancing myself from the memories of the place where I grew up. How wrong I was, that was going to be inevitable––my futile effort to avoid it blinded me.