No matter what culture or language we come from, we all love celebrating new beginnings and rebirth. I wanna begin the new yr off by telling a story of how making friends with someone in Argentina changed their life and caused the hope to become restored. Some of you know that betrayal is unfortunately something deep within Argentine culture. People can give you a charming smile one day and two days later shut you out cold.
When I first started to hang out with some genuine Argentines, they would always say to me "Angelina, we love you.....NEVER CHANGE" And they kept emphasizing that they hoped I wouldn't change and I would stay the same sweet person. It seemed odd to me for them to keep telling me not to change, until I found out about this part of the culture. I realize I was growing on the girls and they really wanted to trust me and believe I was a good person.
Thats why they kept telling me not to change, they had seen it so many times in their culture when seemingly nice person flips all of a sudden and you've been voted off the island friendship wise. In reality what they feared would happen was always impossible with me. I'm not Argentine and there is no way I could be super friendly one day and super cold the next day. It would be impossible.
On this note, I want to caution people renting apartments through Argentine landlords. A big friendly smile isn't always necesarily a good thing. One of the hardest things for North Americans to grasp is that Argentines may be giving you a smile because want your money or there may be hidden motivation. The moment they get what they want you'll see a change in behavior very fast.
Another thing that I have come to realize is that when a group of Argentine girls hang together and laugh its just for fun, it doesn't necessarily mean they trust each other. It took me a while for this epiphany to finally hit. North Americans are highly unlikely to get together and hang with someone we don't trust. But at the same time we don't have this thing in the culture where someone is super nice to you one day and shuts you out cold the next day. Argentine girls hang together and enjoy each others company knowing that it could all change in the blink of an eye. It really is a whole different world.....
As time went on I made an Argentine friend through church circles. She started to grow fond of me. One day we started talking about the betrayal aspect of the culture. And she told me "God only knows how much I've suffered." And then I began to realize that she has been through not just one but several relationships with women where they gave her a sweet smile one day and shut her out quickly and suddenly.
It was hard for me to find this out because she is one of the most genuine, sincere, devoted friends and if she were in North America, she would have no trouble finding a group of girls that she would be lifelong friends with. But God had a gift for her that would make her forget about all her pain and suffering she went through from being friends with other Argentines......ME
The blossoming of our friendship was a rebirth for her and meaningful in getting something that was a deep desire in her heart. She knew as a North American that I could never backstab her the way those Argentine friends did and she would never get hurt that way again. In making friends with me, she began to feel hope again that she can form a genuine relationship with someone who won't turn her back on her all of a sudden.
Before our paths crossed she got betrayed over and over again. Yet when I met her there was nothing in her behavior to indicate that she had gone through such misery and suffering. She was upbeat, positive, loving, and hopeful. She never let any of those experiences get in the way of her friendship with me. And I think that is a marvelous inspiration for the year ahead.
My greatest lesson as I learn to surf is to get back up on a surfboard as quickly as you can after getting knocked down. Because if you delay another wave is likely to come your way and hit you and make it even harder for you to regain momentum. Besides that, you want to be back on your board ready to go when the best wave of the day comes your way......