It was spring break of 2016 when my family decided to go on a trip to the Dominican Republic, which is where I was born and raised. I was so excited because after a year and a half of not seeing my friends, I was finally going to see them. As soon as we bought our plane tickets, I texted everyone and we started making plans for the two weeks that I was going to be there, we planned so many things together that I was desperate to get there and have fun. Three days after being there, one of my friends invited me to go to my old school so that I could say hello to all my teachers and friends. Everyone was happy to see me, but as I was talking to my closest friends I realized that I was no longer part of them, while I was gone they made so many memories together that there was a point where I was literally not understanding anything they were talking about, I felt so weird, it was like I was a stranger, watching them making jokes that to me were not even funny because I was not familiar with their conversation, everything that I lived with them was so fresh in my mind, it was as if I had stayed in the same place while they kept moving forward.
For some reason, I just felt like that when I was around my friends because everything around my family was still the same, there were two newborns but besides that my cousins were still the people I left, we even had a sleepover where I got to catch up on everything and found out one of them, Clajeirys, was pregnant and the reason they did not tell me until then was because they wanted to surprise me. Two days before I was leaving, I threw a party and invited all my cousins and friends. Luisa, one of my closest friend asked me to take her to the bathroom, when we got there she said it was just an excuse to ask me if I was alright because I seemed a little bit distant from all of them. I felt so bad because I knew I was acting kind of weird but it was because I did not know what to talk about with them, she told me to ask them some questions about their personal lives, I can still remember those questions and one of them was to ask one of the guys about the girl he was dating which turned out to be the girl he used to argue all the time with when I was there, we got back to the party I did what she told me and was able to break the ice.
We did everything we planned but I realized that I felt closer to them by text than in person, that even though they treated me the way they used to, things were not the same anymore. Finally, I’m still friend with all of them, we talk every now and then and my love for them is still intact. That trip helped me realized that I was expecting too much and that the only reason I felt like a stranger next to them was because I was not ready to see that they had changed in so many aspects, instead of trying to understand that the people I had in front of me were more mature I was just looking for the ones I left when moving to New York City.