There is something really attractive about not being tied down to any specific place, job, man, apartment, child, car payments or anything else. It is the way I’ve been living my life for the past eight years and I do not regret a single second of it. That said, and perhaps it’s the whole turning thirty thing again, but suddenly I have this enormous urge for the “S” Trinity: Stability, Security and Sex (I mean, Savings. I got distracted for a minute, sorry). That said, stable and secure sex wouldn’t be bad, either.
I assure you that my ties will be always be loosely fastened. I’m looking for stability, not to be cemented to the floor. There is a difference. Stability. Just something to justify why I continue to make Barcelona my home. Don’t get me wrong. I love this city. Barcelona has treated me finely over the years and until the past year has more or less provided me with everything I needed at the time. But when you are living ‘under the table’ in a country that for some reason won’t allow you to pay its taxes, despite how hard you beg and plead to do so, it is really hard to feel stable and secure. I want in!
Security. It is difficult to find a job and I have not had a source of stable income in years. If it were not for sweet, generous friends running successful businesses that do their best to give me some work here and there, I would have been shit out of luck many years ago! Work apart, it is unnerving to pass customs while traveling, for fear they will deport you. Which is a problem when you travel a lot! It doesn’t matter how many years the government extends the retirement age, since you don’t have social security to begin with. You can’t rent videos at the store or rent an apartment in your name. Someone tried to break into my house last year and I think, what if he had succeeded? What if I were robbed? Would I call the police and risk that they ask to see my papers? I’m not sure.
Savings. What’s that? I think I have some change at the bottom of my purse or a drawer somewhere…
I have thought a lot about leaving Barcelona over the past couple of years. These past six months, in particular, I’ve been brainstorming my exit route and options. But, as usual, once you decide to leave a place you really start to appreciate the things you love about it. And I’ve realized these past couple of months that I do really love Barcelona and my life here. I feel so healthy and alive most of the time. I love the schedule and the way that food is the center of everything. I love walking and biking to get from point A to point B. And having it be socially acceptable to arrive late. The sun is usually shining. I love that the butcher calls me guapa as he hacks away at carnage. I love that I had my tonsils removed and was kept in a hospital for four days and never received a bill. I love that old women stroll by arm in arm and still walk up five flights of stairs in their old age. Keeps them strong! I love that the sea is just a few blocks from my house, and amazing countryside is just a short train ride away. I love that even though I’m far from home, I get so many visitors because this city is amazing and people want to come here! This list could go on and on and on.
So. I’m thinking that if I were able to achieve two out of the three components of my “S Trinity” I could justify staying a while longer. If I had to pick two, I’d take Security and Savings. But how much longer can I wait for that to happen? I’m willing to give it a bit more time, but maybe not too much longer. In the meantime, I’m just going to try to love loving this city and perhaps the city will reciprocate that love and provide me with what I need to stay here.
Barcelona, I love to hate you at times, but really I love to love you. Help me out here. Throw me a bone, in the form of a “S” please. Thank you.