Happy Tuesday! Let’s have another edition of Beautiful Words, shall we?
The word I want to highlight today is querencia.
It’s a noun. It means: a place from which one’s strength is drawn, where one feels at home; the place where you are your most authentic self.
Well, after moving back to the Bay Area after 13 years in Idaho so I could be closer to family, I’d say that querencia certainly describes my current situation.
In addition to being closer to my family, I’m more focused on writing than I was in Idaho. I’ve worked on so many new and different projects since I’ve come back home. It’s almost like a reawakening. Not only are there more publishing opportunities here, but I feel as though I’ve rediscovered my confidence. And in turn, I feel that has attracted more opportunities. It’s all circular.
But more importantly, though I had friends in Idaho, I often felt misunderstood or unaccepted. In general, Idahoans don’t view Californians in a positive light. I get it. Homes are much more affordable there and there was quite an influx of Californians, snapping up properties after they’d been priced out of their hometowns, even though they worked hard and had good hearts.
It felt like a no-win situation. Yay, I can afford to live here. Boo, I’ll be hated for what I am.
But, even with that out of the equation, I had a hard time dealing with the exclusionary mindset that seemed to prevail in our community. Words like diversity or alternative were frowned upon. I was discouraged from being my most authentic self. And it made me feel weak and awkward more often than not.
I’m so glad to be back where I belong after all these years. California. Bay Area. You are my querencia.
What beautiful words describe you?