Friday, March 25, 2011

familiarly foreign

After hitting the snooze button for an hour and a half, I had to get up out of bed and dodge the feeling of dread about going to work I’d been having all week. I got ready at super-late speed and ran out the door. I bought a hot drink and a pastry from the sweet street vendor who knows my order now. I darted through traffic and flagged down the bus, driven by a man who knows the stop where I get off now. As I sat on the bus, holding my champurrado so it wouldn’t spill, I realized this is the exact same morning as I've had countless times in Seattle. Oversleeping, dreading work, being a regular somewhere, running to the bus… The sensation that countries and borders are fabricated social concepts washed over me. At the same time, I watched a very different world go by outside the window of the bus, I thought about how very different countries and cultures truly are from one another. And because the times that I will do this same morning again in Mexico are few enough to count, I thought about how I can make the most of this experience. How can I soak up everything there is to learn and see… How can I push my fluency, how can I experience the culture more fully... I am learning so much about humility, the importance of relying on others, about how to build a life for myself when everything comfortable and familiar is very far away. And although these are quests that will never be fully realized, in my time here I want to struggle each day to make the most of it. And the small comforts and familiarity I’ve (re)created for myself here that make a new country less foreign and make myself less of a foreigner, are landmarks of a small success in that process.