when i first moved here a month after college,
it was a personal insult to be called a tourist.
i tried so hard to act like a local, & remember feeling such pride
when i could give street directions to a stranger for the first time.
i had to learn how to survive & communicate & build here
– both personally & professionally. it was an entirely new language
for me & brought priceless mistakes & life-changing growth.
but it’s funny how everything circles around. the other day,
the dear man at the bodega asked me if i was a tourist.
because i asked him how his day was going, he said.
& i felt like i couldn’t hear a better compliment!
because while i’m so grateful & proud to have learned
this new language, i’ve also learned that i want
to take sweet care of those roots from where i come from.