Sunday, January 25, 2009

Facebook, Barcelona, and Old Friends

It feels like forever ago since I got this link and read the article but it turns out it was only a few days. It's been on my mind. Every time we come to Barcelona (ok, and when we're in the US too, but perhaps less, because it feels slightly less intentional) I have to figure out what we're doing here. I mean, mostly I know this. We come to see friends, to surround the kids with cousins and Catalan, but above all, we come to maintain the connection with the people here we love. It's both exciting and exhausting to plan these full weekends of concentrated conversations that usually happen only once a year.

And it makes me wish they were all on Facebook so that I could have a little more of the boring middle time with them.

There was a time that my sister and I could barely get together without arguing. And so we started trying to work things out and we would have these huge long discussions practically every time we saw each other and it was so exhausting and we never got anywhere and I said I had to stop. That I needed some regular time with her. That we needed to have some time where we didn't fight, even if we were papering over, temporarily, the hard stuff between us. Let's just pretend to like each other for a while, I said, (because really we do but we can't remember it) and do something insignificant, like a movie or bowling or whatever, and then maybe we can build from that tiny, unimportant, but real connection instead of building a meaningful relationship out of heavy conversations about meaningful relationships.

Because the hardest part about being in Barcelona is suddenly appearing here, into people's lives.

I remember this in the reverse when I lived here and made visits home. It's fun for about two minutes being the celebrity and then I just want to be normal and have regular conversations with my friends. And I don't want every conversation to have to be so loaded. If you could only have one conversation, what would you talk about? Acks! I don't want small talk either, that sort of generic filler you could have with someone you don't know, but especially from here, I can really see the value of seemingly insignificant (Facebook facilitated) connections that can form the backdrop if not the foundation for the great conversations.

Is the problem trying to live these two different lives? Probably. But I don't know how to give up either one, or even if giving up either one is an option. I think about living here and I love the thought of it. I really do. But I don't know how I could not be at home. That's been my dilemma for half my life now.

No comments:

My Books