Something shifted last year.
After 12 years of living abroad and only visiting for a bit here and there, the course of this ship changed and the urge to return to the place I recognize as home, took over me.
I have seen zebras running in the wild and I have seen fiery sunsets touching the savanna. I have heard lions roar in the wild. I have lived without electricity and cooked with fire. I have had no running water and spiders roam in my house freely, like descendants from Ungoliant trying to feast on Malaria-ridden mosquitoes all day long.
I have been in a 15-hour time difference from the very people that have loved me the most and forgiven me the most, all my life. I have seen a little of China and a little bit of Japan. I have lived in Korea and loved it. I have tried food that I would’ve never had tried. I have had doctors take care of me without uttering a word in English, which was scary and lonely, but letting go and trusting works magic.
I have studied in depressing lecture rooms in Oxford just to be greeted by the most exquisite views from my bedroom window.
There was a moment I could’ve chosen to be married. There were a few times I had the chance of saying “yes” to someone. A part of me is aware that I am not living the life most people seem to be enjoying. I am childless, and I am very much single. I have a backpack ready to hit up the next place and my passport is always kept handy. I don’t owe fancy cocktail dresses to entertain people at home. I would probably never entertain anyone that required cocktail dresses, even though I admit to having a love affair with anything glamorous. I have moved and seen and loved and despaired in many languages, different places, and with numerous strangers that are what I affectionately call my extensive family.
So when I felt that the time was right to come back to Mexico City, the land that has helped raise me alongside Guatemala and The United States, I felt odd. I felt relieved that the traveling would come to a pause. I felt that it was time to do things, but which things, I am yet figuring them out. I have figured out some things:
1. Spanish will always be the language that links me to something deeply personal and closed off to 99% of the people I know.
2. Nothing beats Mexico City’s night lights from my rooftop at night. No matter where I am.
3. No one is ever without roots.
Perhaps I am here to find someone to spend my life with. Perhaps I am just here temporarily to see what else I need to absorb and think about before moving on. Perhaps I am here to form the next chapter of my life. All I know is that this is where I am meant to be and this is where I will be. Being somewhere else, at the moment, feels wrong. Intuition has been a great friend of mine for a very long time now and I am not going to start turning a deaf ear to it now.
The wind blows differently here, and the unusually blue skies we have been having lately, make me unbearably happy.
Three days ago, I woke up feeling like I was in love. You know that feeling, right? I hope you do. That feeling of butterflies in your belly and the anticipation of hearing from whoever has stolen your breath. No one has stolen my heart for a very long time now, and yet.
That morning I woke up feeling happy. I woke up feeling in love with everything around me and my the first words that left my mouth were “I am happy to be here”. And I am. Twelve years ago I felt I had to leave, I felt that I must leave in order to escape the very life I see so many people enjoying now. I felt Mexico was stifling with machismo and homophobia. Women weren’t much and every boy seemed to be looking for someone like their mothers.
I didn’t want to be someone’s mother.
I was not meant to be married at 26. I was not meant to be having children by 30. That was not my journey. That has never been the plan, even though I had moments that I very much wanted those things to be my life. To have some sort of stability that family life apparently provides. But there is stability in change as well, and there is the sudden realization that nothing in this life is permanent, that everyone comes and goes, and that although love grows incessantly and constantly, it too, does not last forever. We take it with us when we die and that is that.
So here I am. In love with the place I thought I would never feel part of. I am open for things to happen. I am receptive and present and aware that this is life and that even for a little bit, settling the ship for a brief time, feels lovely.
Perhaps I will set sail again, perhaps not.
But for now, I am here and I would not have it any other way.