The most important thing to note about learning a language is that you will never know it all.
The other day it hit me, kind of hard, that I will be leaving Argentina in just over a month. Tears kind of welled up, not just because the weather is great or that I have met some pretty wonderful people that I will miss dearly, but because I won't get to keep talking Spanish everyday. Actually, I don't even talk Spanish now, it's porteno castellano with funny accents and lisps. I love it.
Moving back means regressing into the habit of speaking English with everyone. It means that, not only will my vocabulary not be expanding, but from the lack of use I will lose it. It makes wells of water under my eyes just thinking about it.
Some people have suggested that I stay here and keep learning more of the language, keep practising until I am fluent, can dream in castellano, involuntarily count in castellano. In all seriousness, I gave this idea a lot of thought. I bounced it around, corner to corner in my brain, wishing an easy answer would come. I have had moments where I said to myself,
"No. Not going back." Then, I would have moments of nostalgia for delicious coffee and bike rides with friends, Vietnamese subs and Kensington Market's natural-food selection. Will that stuff always be there? Will it wait for me?
Probably not. Like any modern city, changes happen quickly. Independent bookstores and run-down cafes disappear. New ones take their place. Perhaps I can return for a short while, stock on supplies and bring them with me.
My dilemma has been resolved, for now. I have compromised the decision in my mind, a little give and take between two wants. What is most comforting is knowing I can always get back to Buenos Aires. I have had a little taste, know the neighbourhoods well enough, know where to look for places to stay, know where to look for jobs. If the burning desire to return ignites, then I will know for sure where my home is and what language it speaks.