Life On Two Islands

If you are like me, you are a New Yorker with Dominican parents.  You grew up on two islands,  one you currently call home, and the other you have dysfunctional relationship with.

You were probably born in The City.   Your parents, sometime in your childhood, moved the family to The Island because someone promised them an opportunity of a lifetime. But upon arrival, somehow, somewhere between unpacking la mudanza and your high school graduation, something happens to someone and the plans to live the Dominican Dream fail to come to fruition.

Nowadays you have a vaivén with The Island.  You get on a plane because The Island has a gravitational force that pulls you any time you have the opportunity to travel.  Yet, no sooner you land at AILA you are ready to head back home.

When on The Island, you stroll around frequently feeling the gape of its people trickling down your back. If you suspect they are judging you, rest assured…they are. The opinions run the gamut from the color of your nail polish, (Ballerina Pink: Good, Gothic Burgundy: Bad) to living with your boyfriend (very bad), or living alone (extremely bad).

I have a true necessity of contributing my thoughts on thirteen years of Island life, plus the annual twenty days I spend thereafter when I decided to relocate to The City for good. It is a conflicting and complex relationship the one I have with The Island. On one hand I love getting away from The City (You must have already noticed that I make the distinction between The Island=there, and The City=here) to visit my friends and family, especially during the winter when I get to soak up the year-round 85ºF weather.  However I find myself having little tolerance for The Islanders’ quirks, which is topic of discussion for this blog.

For now, allow me to preface the conversation by saying that all that will be covered may well pertain to few, some, none, or perhaps all Islanders.  But if for some reason, as you read my entries you find yourself nodding in agreement or bristling with discomfort, signs point that you are either like me or like them.

On the other hand, you might be  a happy bystander being entertained by the thoughts of a Dominican chick, shaken with a twist.

11 responses to “Life On Two Islands

  1. Nuala, I can’t wait to read your next piece. I feel like you have left me in a middle of a suspenseful movie. Yes, I am also a “Dominican-York” (as many islanders like to call us) and would love to hear more about your stories.

  2. Having lived at the Island and living in the City I can’t wait to see what the fellow Islanders have to say when hit with the hardcore truth.

  3. Fantastic! Can’t wait to read more.

  4. It is truly sad that so much judgement can exist on such a small island. This blog has made me wonder whether people are truly happy or whether all the judgements are a mere reflection of insecurities and unhappiness. I would like to see a study done to see what are the rates of divorce, infedility, depression etc. Maybe the islander tactics and recipes for a “happy life” are just fruitless traditions.

    I am looking forward to your other blogs Nuala!!

  5. Some of those ‘quirks’ were inherited from Spain it’s tradition of living for “el que dira la gente”, strict adherance to useless tradition while envying those who have long shrugged those useless traditions to live freely and unabashed while ignoring all the judgement. I’m just saying… ha ha ha ha ha

  6. Dear Nuala,
    Sure hope you open a Q&A section. Would love to see how you recommend people to deal with other people’s bullshit. In the meantime, Keep the thoughts coming. Want to read what comes up next and it better be sooner than later.


  7. Hilarious and very true…

  8. gisselle castillo

    Tell me or ask me I feel the same way when I go…..and I have a husband who’s gravitational pull towards the island is constant…so I have to go at least 3 to 4 times a year..and don’t evn mention the immigration officers with the “hola Linda”….or Hola Rubia” and im dark with dark hair…ja..ja..ja

  9. Pingback: Suit Yourself « Nuala Knows

  10. Nuala: me he reido un monton…totally can relate,very proud of’ve become a good writer. Te deseo exito con tu blog!

  11. Pingback: Happy Anniversary! | Nuala Knows

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