Hi, everyone! I have been MIA for a while for various reasons- mainly because of hurricane Maria (and more recently, I haven’t had much time to do anything but study.) Still, I wanted to share this. I wrote it around 3 weeks after the hurricane hit.
Before you read it, just know I’m kind of in a better place emotionally now, since uni has been an amazing distraction. I’ll probably write more about that later- but for now, here’s this post.
I might have listened to Bridget Mendler’s ‘Hurricane’ more times than it is socially acceptable during and after a category 5 hurricane.
Okay, bear with me. You’ve more than certainly have heard about Maria’s passage through Puerto Rico during the past 3 weeks (?) Things were rough, they still are. And even I tend to forget that.
I lost my home’s roof in a category 5 hurricane and I forget that. How is that even possible? I have had more than a few thoughts about leaving.
Listening to the news and hearing about people crying while getting hot meals? Listening to the news and hearing people begging for water!
Puerto Rico’s economy was in a crisis, a bad one. And Maria made it even worse. A catastrophic hurricane hadn’t passed though my country in almost a century… and then we lived my grandmother’s stories about that hurricane that basically traumatized her.
I probably will remember those sounds for the rest of my life. The feeling that it wouldn’t ever end, that we were stuck on a loop.
Sometimes I wake up and think everything is normal until I see my surroundings and remember it’s not. That I don’t have a (physical) home anymore. And that sincerely sucks.
Category 5 hurricanes suck. And 3 weeks after that? Yep. Still does.
“At least we have milk”,
“at least we have gasoline”,
“at least we have ice”
“At least-” and we start comparing our situation to other people who are literally living without a roof or access to water, or food with no outside help whatsoever. I honestly hate this. I might -MIGHT- be okay, but this whole situation took a toll on me. And it has been almost a month, and some things have normalized, but I still have to enter my (former, destroyed) home- house to search for things I can salvage- several times. Honestly, seeing my room in such a state left me almost numb. I started looking for things almost methodically, without any feelings, until that was not possible at all.
I see the post-it’s from people who sent me messages- ruined. I see some of my books- the ones I couldn’t save- ruined.
And then I think- I should know I am lucky. My extended family lent us a house while we can rebuild. I have an apartment rented that’s basically intact, I am going to start classes again this week.
But still- intend to forget. I lost my home. And how do you go on from that? From the memories, from their childhood innocence that made you think things were better than they were?
I still don’t have the answer to these questions. I probably never will, but it’s nice to write these things.
I have cried a couple of times after Maria, for several situations but it mostly accounts for one thing: the loss of a feeling I probably won’t recover for a while: the sense of home.