Monday, July 19, 2010

My New Relationship with Me

Six days after I got to Mexico, I wrote a blog called "My Relationship with Me." The blog was my way of admitting that I knew there was something missing – something that had been missing for a long time – and that I was hoping to find it. It was a blog about needing to work on my relationship with myself, and being glad I had the time to do it. It’s now six days before I head back to the States, and I think it’s probably fitting to write about how my time went.
When I lived in Spain, I remember telling my friends that I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to remember all the days that I spent there and all the things I had learned – that I would have to summarize my experiences, and in doing so, I would leave a lot of stuff out.
Well, of course that’s true. When people ask you how your time was somewhere, they’re generally looking for a one-sentence answer, something along the lines of, “Oh man, it was so awesome!” or “I had a blast.” At the time I was worried about this, but it’s not something I worry about anymore. What I worry about instead is not whether or not I’ll be able to summarize my experiences to tell my friends, it’s about whether I’m ultimately going to remember more than a summary of what happened to me.
Mexico is a great example. I’ve been here a little over three months – not much time in the grand scheme of things – but I feel like the things that I have done and learned here should have taken years of mental and emotional energy to have experienced. Ask what exactly was so great about it, however, and I can’t exactly tell you. Was it the women’s group I started going to every new moon? I know that was part of it. Was it the yoga class I went to three days a week, and Pilar, the yoga instructor who became my friend? That was part of it too. Was it my new friendship with Pamela Bishop, all the time spent around her pool, and the fact that she made me read The Power of Now, which I probably would never have picked up at any other time in my life? Yes…but that’s not all of it either.
I expected that a lot of the time I was going to spend in Mexico I would spend alone. I expected that my days would be full of walks on the beach with the dog, writing, and keeping in touch with my friends back home via internet. I didn’t expect that I would learn so much from so many other people, or that I would even get to know that many other people. I didn’t expect a lot of things, and I think that’s why my time here surpassed my expectations so incredibly.
So, what did I learn about me, you ask? I learned that I am tired of being angry, at others but mostly at myself. I learned that my writing is not as funny when I’m really in touch with how I’m feeling – I hide behind my sarcasm and my funny stories so I don’t have to tell others or myself about the pain. I learned that I can let go, and the whole world won’t fall apart. I learned that I don’t have to have it all figured out, and that you can learn a lot from people who have one part of their life under control while the rest of it is falling apart. I learned that it’s okay to fall apart, and that the sun will still rise and set despite all the things you think you have to do to keep it moving. I learned that despite what I always thought, I am my own worst enemy, and that I am incredibly, horribly insecure: any impression I’ve given to the contrary was just a way for me to protect myself from getting hurt. I learned that I have the ability to poison relationships in a single sentence, or save them with one sincere compliment. I learned that I am deeply, deeply afraid of letting people know who I really am, and I lead people to talk about themselves so that I don’t have to share anything about myself.
I learned that I am not afraid of many things that others fear…except for spiders. I learned that I actually like earthquakes. I learned that I am like a child when the waves are big, and when they crash I get an adrenaline rush, even if I’m just watching from afar. I learned that I sleep best when it’s raining outside, and that thunderstorms are as beautiful to me as a night sky sparkling with stars.
I learned that I am really bad at catching waves when trying to surf. I learned that there are some people that it’s best not to be friends with. I learned that there is a fine line between my gut instinct and my insecure ego trying to destroy my happiness. I learned that German Shepards can learn a trick in three tries. I learned that Micheladas have Worcestershire sauce in them, that I love Oaxacan cheese, that I can eat quesadillas for most meals without wanting anything else, that I don’t like swimming in really warm pools, that it’s not as scary as I thought to drive in Mexico, and that I should never be hired to translate about cars, car parts, car problems, construction or paint materials. I learned that chipotle guacamole is one of my new favorite concoctions, that I am no longer capable of drinking all day long and lasting all night, too, and that sometimes it’s best just to let go, even if you don’t want to. I learned that regardless of where I am, I am addicted to sleeping in a cool room, swimming in cold water, spicy food, laughing so hard it makes your stomach hurt, and knowing people that you can show your worst to and they simply shrug and bare themselves to you in response.
I learned that you can get great cheap haircuts in Mexico, that some places are worth coming back to, and some places you will carry with you always. In three months, I learned that there is always more to learn, and that I can’t wait to see what else the world has in store for me.
So, you ask, did I find it? Did I find what was missing? I’m honestly not sure. I think I found part of it, but perhaps not all of it. Regardless, I feel a lot more whole than I’ve ever felt before, and like a I know myself a lot better than I ever have. I know there’s more to learn, but I’m no longer afraid to find out what it is. Like any healthy relationship, I’ve realized that it can’t be all good, but that doesn’t mean that it’s all bad. I like the person I discovered here, and I can’t wait to get to know her in the time we spend together from here on out.

Love and me kisses

I'm consolidating my blogs! All my new posts will be at Confessions of a Travel Addict!