Belonging in Chicago

Alejandra's dogs, Lilly & Sparky

Alejandra’s dogs, Lilly & Sparky

A sense of belonging

I absolutely feel that Chicago is my home!  It feels homey because it’s cosmopolitan and I like people in the Midwest.  Midwesterners are very friendly. I also feel that I have a lot in common with the Europeans backgrounds of many people here.  We have similar cultures, costumbres similares.  Everyone can feel comfortable here because there is room for everybody.  In Chicago, it doesn’t matter what religion is, what nationality you are, your background, or if you’re a professional or not.

Another reason I love this city so much is that I felt suppressed in Argentina.  I used to be very very catholic.  Looking back, being so Catholic was very suppressive.  When I came to the United States I realized all the things I could do, everything that I could be, and I felt like there were so many chances to achieve them all.  You know, in Argentina, people care too much about what other people say.  My personality is such that I don’t care what people have to say about me, which created problems in a place like Argentina.  I used to speak my mind and people didn’t like what I said.  Here in the United States it’s different because this is such a diverse society.  You learn to respect.  In Argentina, we criticize everyone or we used to (I’m not saying that it is still happening right now).  The people in my group back in Argentina were not like good people.  Oh, they were not good… they weren’t good enough.  And that’s fine.  In the United States, I learned that you don’t have to surround yourself with those type of people.  There are people with which you can study and share dinner and not feel analyzed.  Also, I don’t consider myself a catholic now.  I identify more with Buddhism and I like Chopra.  I believe the catholic church as an institution didn’t really help me grow and reach my full potential.

Next Section: Raising a Child in the United States