6 months and I can’t believe how time has flown. I had imagined this first half-year as something endless, I believe, a time where I would manage to do all the things that I had dreamed of doing while in Mexico. I was going to take every cheap flight possible and travel the country. I was going find a Oaxacan grandma and learn how to cook in Juchitán. I was going to find a job in this sea of opportunities that I had imagined. I was going to take salsa lessons and go out dancing every weekend. Drink mezcal in fancy bars.
I was going to finish my thesis.
Looking back on the expectations that I had, not only on my stay here in general, but on what I was expecting myself to do within that short a time, I am realizing that I might have exaggerated just a little. I guess I was so desperate to get out of the tremendous routine situation that I had put myself in with my Master’s, that I just needed to believe that everything would change once changing locations. Because sometimes you need a fresh start to get out of routines. It wasn’t a bad plan, it was just an unrealistic one.
Where am I right now? In my bed, in my PJs, as has become my new routine, waiting for the coffee to kick in so that I can write my thesis. This is becoming one of these movie-like moments where you realize that (to a great extent) it isn’t the circumstances that create your life. It is you. I find myself in one of the biggest cities in the world. No doubt you will have to force yourself to be bored in order not to have fun. Unfortunately, this is exactly what I do when I study, I stay out of the crowd, I stay out of the things that attract me simply because they disturb my attention. This doesn’t mean that I am managing to be all that disciplined, but at least I’m not actively choosing to do something else than studying. This really isn’t as logical as it sounds, it really just makes my procrastination a hell of a lot more boring and monotone.
Well. In all fairness, as I am writing this I am in the midst of the hugest identity conflict in a WHILE. And looking back on the past six months, I really haven’t just been sitting in my bed in my old Wayne’s t-shirt, between writing and panicking over writing, and I am not going to let a few months of monotone work define a whole semester that has included so many rich moments. In fact, as I look back, I might not have managed to get myself that everyday life filled with all the activities that I had been looking forward to, but so many other things have happened since December 28th when I touched ground here. My parents came for seven weeks to travel and I got to see them for the first time in what was 13 months. Two of my best Costa Rican friends came to visit. I HAVE had mezcal. I might not have finished my thesis yet, but I am on my way and I am excited to see how it turns out. I have lost 9 out of the 15 extra uni-kilos that I gained over the past couple of years. I have gotten some pretty valuable lessons during my time in the field, things that I will take with me for the rest of my life. I am cooking on a regular basis again and I have even started to bake. I went to Colombia to visit a friend for life.
And most of all, I have fallen head over heels in love with a man with whom I have had the great fortune to share almost five incredible months now. Who cooks but lets me cook. Who makes me laugh, a lot. With whom I can talk for hours and feel like only 10 minutes passed by. Who shares my impossibly bad sense of life planning because life has too much to offer not to cram it all in there at once. And with whom I am hoping to keep on sharing this chaotic life for a long time to come.
(Psst, that’s him below)
All in all, I think I have learned from this that you should never expect things to happen in a certain way. I never used to, and I was never disappointed. And it’s simple really, because life might give you even more than you expected but if you’re too stuck with that image in your head, you might not appreciate what you have.
One thing is sure, I need to get out of this bed-routine or I might grow into the sheets soon. I need to finish my thesis NOW so that I can start taking care and making use of my moments of free time. And I need to stop looking ahead for solutions, and start looking right here and now. At myself, at what I do. You can’t control life completely, but you can’t let life control you either. I need to stop being afraid of failing before I have even tried. I need to get a move on. And it starts: now.