Evolution of self~ return to center
I met Valentin early one morning as he stood outside my apartment window on a ladder. He was part of a roofing crew and had woken me up with his rapid fire spanish. When I opened the window to get a better look, he said hello but kept working. As the job wrapped up, we decided to go out on a date. Later that month I bleached my hair platinum blonde and updated my wardrobe, ditching my hippy garb in favor of more “Mexican” attire. It was a fun change of pace and nothing I hadn’t done before. A year later our first daughter was born, followed every two years by another, until we had three plus my big kid. I slowly ditched the colored hair and fashion fabric, and began returning to myself over those years….
Until we moved to rural Michoacan.
For the first year, I minimized my true nature in order to assimilate. I made myself meak as I absorbed the new world around me. I kept my mouth shut and my ideas hidden, I tried my best to play the game and blend into the rural Mexican scenery. I hand washed, cooked on my fire and learned the local dialect. I never drove myself anywhere and didn’t drink. I even tried to keep my tattoos covered at times. And, despite never failing at anything in my entire life, I failed miserably at trying to master the art of making nixtamal and tortillas.
I asked the locals for help and advice, attempted to make friends in my new language and kept my children tidy. I tried to cultivate my skills as the smiling hostess and accept the double standards for men and women. I listened to the people, who lived here in this valley because they may know better than me, and they told me to do this or not do that, even though it often went against my intuition. I never took into account that their experience was limited. As time passed, I realized that despite my best efforts, none of this was working. My repeated failure was evident in everything I did here. I began to internalize this misalignment and successfully trapped myself in a multi-layered cage. It took two years to see that I had done this to myself.
By the second year, I had begun to see the pitfalls of the deeply ingrained cultural ways that I was trying desperately to mimic. I became radical and a great upheaval followed. I pulled my children out of the rural school and began homeschooling. I quit making tortillas, sold my corn grinding mill and I began cooking non-mexican food in my kitchen. This was met with a tsunami of disapproval that tried to knock me to my knees. Time and time again, I withstood the cultural battering and didn’t crumble in the wake. I started doing yoga again and envisioned my life a little different. But still there was this ever present energy of fighting against the norm, proving myself and feeling angry that the people here didn’t support and couldn’t relate to anything I was about. I was constantly in battle mode and unable to clearly focus on anything that mattered to me. I was shooting myself in the foot with each step forward. It all felt so heavy.
I remember two years ago, my oldest son said something that has stuck with me. He said, “mom, what you are looking for doesn’t exist there anymore. It hasn’t been there for a long time…” I wasn’t ready to accept that truth, in it’s depth and accuracy, until this point in the journey. The ramifications of acknowledging that the dream that I was seeking for years simply doesn’t exist in this time-space are at once overwhelming and liberating. This powerful truth is requiring me to reexamine everything. My whole life. Everything I have been moving towards for years, even before making the leap to move to Mexico. The old ways are gone. There are still echoes and reflections of these hanging around, but time has moved forward. People have moved on and where I stand today has finally inched it’s way into the American 1950’s and become stuck. The reality I am facing, two and a half years later, is that this is not where I am at in my own spiritual-physical-emotional evolution. I have evolved well past the 1950’s and continue to evolve rapidly, no thanks to where my feet are planted. This, is the struggle that has been hiding beneath everything, discreetly demolishing the entire Mexican experience.
My rural Mexican fantasy dream life has exploded. Now the question is, what can be salvaged? I do not believe that this is a total loss, although it has certainly felt like it at times. I am feeling out an alternate route here, and have taken the first steps in returning to what I know. I know I love camping, which is different than just living on land in a rural location. I know I love gardening, which is not the same as subsistence farming. I know I love reading and writing and creating, all of which are viewed as an absurd waste of time in this community, unless they create wealth. I believe in health and wellness and beauty. Not in a superficial way, but in a lasting, deep and natural way. And here I am, in the heart of Mexico, surrounded by the epitome of natural beauty…. And yet for years, it has remained untouchable.
Many of you will read these words and think, “I knew moving to Mexico was a mistake…” But it wasn’t. The mistake I made could have happened anywhere. The mistake was abandoning my sense of self. I lost myself when I tried to become a part of this place. A place I didn’t even understand….
I had to dive deep into the underworld to find my drifting consciousness. A painful solo journey into the abyss. I had no idea that I would find myself, intact, amongst those jagged rocks of misconception. Nor that I was even searching for that. I just felt like an insurmountable obstacle was keeping me from living and loving in my truest way. I knew I had to face it but had no idea what it was. How strange that it was my own dream and my momentous attempt to reach it……….
Here I Am! I am finally ready to shed those old worn out dreams and forge a new trail. At this time, it’s important for those who choose to walk with me to know that I turn on a dime when least expected. I veer off when I see an alluring fork in the road and I give myself permission to change my mind at any time along the way. In a not so hypothetical sense, I can do whatever I want. I create and follow beauty. I live inspired. And if it doesn’t feel right, I am not obligated to participate. Those who know me, know I have been here before. Cycling through the ages with new energy and information.
I am not lost…. The path I choose is never straight. Now the wild waters are calling me.