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.

2 comments:

Herbert said...

Everything you do is so insanely astonishing!

Cam McGregor said...

I'm a big fan of this post. I'm feeling the exact same way. Life in another country does get to be the same, but it's just how much we make of it, something I wasn't great at for most of my time here. I've also been meaning to write you an email for forever...I'll get around to it!