I now feel as though my life has entered a holding pattern. I feel as though my past life of living with my boyfriend and enjoying the times with his family are now over. I have made mental plans to move back to Cozumel…where I began my life in Mexico…remembering how simple life was when I lived there. And I don’t believe that what I am doing is “going back” but rather taking another path from where I began.
But if that does happen, the plan is not for it to happen for another 8 months…I want to live out my lease here where I currently am renting. I want to save as much money as I can before I move again…it’s a big move and expensive move should I decide to make the drive. Plus, I have a good friend who is still contracted to work in Mexico until the end of the year, who I’d feel I was deserting should I leave to move to Cozumel now. In my opinion, all valid reasons for me to wait and not dive into making a seriously impulsive decision just because one life is ending and I feel as though my next one has to begin NOW!
Maturity…I think I had always known that it would include me growing patience. As a young girl…at 17…I impulsively chose where I was going to attend college, certainly altering the shape and form of the rest of my life. Who knows what my life would have turned into had I left Brooklyn at only 17 years of age. What things I saw and witnessed during the next 10 years that maybe I would never have learned while living elsewhere.
I believe that my next move to Manhattan was well thought out and certainly where I belonged at that point in my life. I attended Graduate school at night while working for a law firm during the day. But when my mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer 6 years later, I moved back to Brooklyn so that I could be of more help and be closer to my mother…maybe another impulsive decision which did take me a while to work my way out of again, when I moved back into Manhattan. but never something I regretted having done. Though who knows what I would have been spared had I never taken that time in Brooklyn again.
Now, 10 years later, I live in another country. A beautiful country which initially only promised me 12 months of scuba diving per year. But which has brought to me such amazing experiences that I don’t believe that I will ever return to the States, which are experiencing such political turmoil that I await the day when all my friends eventually choose to join me here.
You may be asking yourself, where is this holding pattern she keeps talking about? I moved to Cozumel 6 years ago to dive…great diving island, small, with two pretty distinct populations…Mexicans and Americans. I was young for the “American” crowd…they tended to be retired and living off of a small pension that kept them living well while in Cozumel, diving by day, drinking margaritas by night. They did not tend to be employed at any of the local establishments…maybe some were doing some online trading, if my memory serves me right. But they didn’t tend to mix with the locals.
That did find me in a curious place, as I decided to stay in Mexico and realized that there is NO MONEY in diving, I just simply went to the local Carlos n’ Charlie’s for a job. No problem I don’t speak Spanish, I speak the language of the 40k tourists that get off those cruise ships everyday, so I was hired. Three years later, my boyfriend, who is from Puebla, and I, moved to Puebla so we could live closer to his family. And we did all that…we moved here…I began teaching in order to maintain my visa…and something happened that lead us to eventually split up. I don’t want to blame myself…I don’t want to blame him…but it just didn’t work out.
Now, exactly 8 months later…I am still here. I no longer feel as though I belong here…I guess for three years I allowed my “family” to let me feel as though I belonged…even though I really didn’t. My mother-in-law was amazing when it came time for her to help me feel as though I was a part of something, instead of just a foreigner visiting from another part of the world who was just trying to “belong” to something or “fit in” somewhere.
Now I am without “family” and my friends back in NYC have gone on with their lives. I have a few really good friends here and I made super good friends while in Cozumel…many of whom have also moved away and returned to their lives. So, I am left asking myself, what is next for me? Do I just go back to the lonely beaches I left behind in Cozumel to spend the next few years of my life until something else comes up for me? Do I consider the relationship aspect of it all…how I just met a man who is very established here…is not a “diver” but rather a true professional who has the utmost respect for me and my “decisions”…not looking to rush into anything…maybe being smart about how impulsive Americans tend to be. Not wanting to start something with a woman whom he doesn’t trust to not decide to return to the States (or Cozumel…though I don’t believe he would think that was my thought at the moment)…because Americans have a habit of just jumping ship when the running gets tough. And if that is true, am I finally showing my weak side? Am I giving up?
Challenge: I believe a challenge is when you meet an obstacle and you figure out a way to overcome it, based on the knowledge you have at the time. (Like when unemployment stopped paying me 6 years ago…and I got a job bartending at C&C’s. Or when I learned that my mother-in-law did not speak English, so I taught myself enough Spanish so she and I could chat everyday over lunch.) Maybe that’s just what I have met again…an obstacle that I need to figure out a way to overcome.
I recently read an interesting article about the 50 lessons we should all learn in life. And while so many of them really screamed out to me, I think the best one was down at #45: “The best is yet to come.” Though, of course, #35 was also pretty good, as well: “Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.” (A true mantra of my life.)
Today is Easter..many believe it to be the day of new beginnings…and I want to agree. I refuse to just exist in a “holding pattern” between two lives…will I move back to the beach in 8 months? I certainly can’t go back to the life I had 8 months ago…so let’s, as #16 so perfectly says, “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” I need to appreciate the present more…where I am, living in the mountains of Puebla, surrounded by 4 beautiful volcanoes, weather averaging about 65-70 degrees each day of the year. Having this amazing job that allows me to work from home…in my cool apt. with my amazing toy poodle at my side.
And how about this great new guy…maybe I should give him the chance to show me another way to be…a different type of relationship that allows me to be loved just for me being me. The other night, while dining with a friend, he sent me a voice text that shared a voice to be just happy to be in touch with me. And I turned to my friend and asked, “Why is he so happy to hear from me?” And she told me to just let him care for me…that’s what relationships are about. So as #34 said, “God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do,” I will allow him, and God, to love me for being me, just because it is who they are, not because of me having to earn it.
And should none of it work out, then in 8 months…you can find me on the beach, my Plan B. 🙂