La vida cambia

IMGP5649 Life changed in Buenos Aires today. My partner in crime, Gabriella, flew out of Argentina, back home to the USA. Tonight I have to be honest and say that I cried. I cried for a long time. I feel better now, a few hours later, and I know that tomorrow I will be stronger and the day after that will be easier. But it is tough to say goodbye after four months. There is no denying it.

Gabriella and I met over breakfast on my second day in Buenos Aires. I was staying in a hostel and had met nobody else that danced tango. I was terrified to go to my first Milonga alone. Gabriella had been in the hostel one week and had had exactly the same experience. The moment we realised that we were both desperate to dance, our lives were linked. It was as simple as that. Night after night we ‘worked’ our way into the tango scene here. In the beginning we sat for many hours with no dances, but the fact that we had each other kept us going. On nights when she couldn’t face another bad experience, I got her out there. She did the same for me. We tried classes together. I introduced her to Ariel, who became her teacher. She helped me with my castellano. We laughed together. We danced together. We supported each other. We became great friends.

It is not easy to start a new life in another country. It’s difficult to leave all your friends and family behind. Finding Gabriella in my path made the difference, in the beginning, between loneliness and joy. I was lucky that she stayed for four months. Together we met more people, made more friends, danced more often. Yesterday at Canning we danced all night, sat with friends, were the last people to leave. She has gone but she knows that I am able to dance on. I am no longer alone here, but I feel that Buenos Aires is missing a vitality tonight.

It hit me hard today because I realise now that the longer I stay, the more goodbyes there will be. People will come and go. I will make new friends but if they are foreigners, most will eventually leave. If they are family or friends from England, they will go home. It is important that I continue to develop friendships with Argentines because they will be the constant people in my life here. Now that my castellano is better, this is much more feasible.

 So yes, for now I am staying. And I will cope with the goodbyes. Goodbyes after all are only tough when there is love and laughter beforehand. That part I never want to miss out on. I always think that people are leant to us for a while. I am so lucky that I have been leant some amazing people in my life, and the latest was more than amazing. Mi chica, mi mejor amiga en Buenos Aires, una bailarina muy linda – Gabriella.


3 Responses

  1. My heart goes out to you Sally. It has been wonderful watching the exuberance, the joyful quality of your friendship with Gabriella. I have laughed with you, danced with you, cringed for you when the dances didn’t come and shopped with you both through your evocative words and photos. The next few weeks may be tough but I know your creativity will bring you through – out of loss there will be many new starts and just imagine the fun when you two finally get together again. Hugest love Jane x

  2. Well, I’m off to Seattle in less than 16 hours. I’m going to Opening Night milonga and see how it goes.

    Didn’t do too well in my secadas class tonight. My lead for leader back secadas is still weak; but I know how to fix. Thus, I’ll need to do some more practicing by myself before I continue testing it out on my practice followers. I need to see it in my mind and lead it right….

    Time to go pack…it’s almost 1AM again!

  3. […] this time involving the sense of excited butterflies zooming around my heart. Five minutes later another precious girl walked out of the elevator and into my hug. I had thought I might never see her again. My eyes […]

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