I used to say that in order to love something, you'd have to have hated it at one point as well. How can you feel love without hate? Joy without pain? You can't truly appreciate either extreme unless you're acquainted with its counterpart. I wonder if the same holds true for the contrary. I've spent more time in Lima than in any other single place in all my travels and I can say that I've had some of the most miserable times of my life here. I can sincerely say that I hate living in Lima.
But it has nothing to do with the place itself. I have some real good friends here, enjoy the local cuisine, and know the bus routes better than Seattle's. But rather my resentment for Lima is that I've had my dreams and aspirations crushed in front of me and in the face of pressure I have folded; cowering into the familiar safety of comfort and turning into a pathetic, loathing, unproductive sloth who detests his inability to reach his full potential. So it's not Lima I hate. It's me.
I look at some of the comments people leave on the various medium of cyberspace networking and I can't see that person they all seem to know. HE wouldn't be as timid. HE wouldn't be indecisive. HE would be living that dashing fairytale adventure journey that everyone expects. I wish I could be that person. But I can't.
I spent the last two weeks agonizing whether I should go here or there, North or South, and in some ways it was representative of my past or my future. What ends up happening is that the internal deliberation distracts you from the only moment that matters. So after wasting a considerable amount of time and money, I ended up fruitlessly chasing the unattainable ghosts of my past and fumbling upon the prospects of new opportunities. In some ways you could say I put those matters to rest, in others you could say I did better than I had ever expected and maybe should be content with that. But in the end, it is what it is. It is useless to contemplate on the moments that never happened.
So what can I say about my time in Lima? A friend told me it's like New York. You hate it and love it at the same time. You want to leave everyday, but you'll miss it once you finally do. I made my last walk around the neighborhood and felt...quite indifferent. I don't know what to make of this time I've spent here. I can't tell if I loved or hated it. Maybe at the very least I can say that it has been a learning experience; a realization of my character and the countless opportunities I let pass by. But you take your punches in stride and learn to avoid them next time. And you can always change yourself and who you are. It's just about having the courage to snap your fingers and say, "now".