In about a month, school will end. This year is especially special because my dear sweet little boy will be graduating from elementary school. In the fall, he will enter secondary school.
I have been thinking a lot lately about finding your path as you undertake new adventures. As my sweet child prepares to carve out a new path for himself and the one year anniversary of our arrival in Mexico approaches, these thoughts have been on my mind a lot lately.
When I reflect on moving to Minneapolis, literally the middle of America, and as far as I was concerned at the time, the middle of nowhere, I am struck by the number of instant friendships I created with all of the area’s outsiders: people who hadn’t attended high school in Minnesota.
Shortly after my arrival, I met and immediately connected with a woman who was just like me and had just moved from Boston too. Looking back, it’s so funny to think that we both lived in Boston, both worked in the same industry, and both ended up moving to Minnesota following our husbands at the same time. Yet somehow, our paths never crossed until they needed to: when we moved to Minneapolis, worked in the same office for a fool of a man and were attempting to transition to a very different lifestyle, pace and place.
Observation: I sincerely feel that paths cross when they need to.
We probably didn’t meet in Boston because it just wasn’t meant to be yet. But when our paths did cross, my whole world became brighter (the snow certainly didn’t seem endless anymore), and my friendship with her is proof that anyplace can be fun when you’re surrounded by love and friendship.
Fast forward to Mexico City, where I went to a party I wasn’t planning to attend and had a chance and brief conversation with a woman on her way out the door. During that chance conversation I made probably my closest friend here. She’s shown me the city and been the source of constant amusement and entertainment. She’s also way more decisive than me, which helps when we’re on the clock and a decision needs to be made!
Observation: Sometimes on your path, you find your guide.
Moving to such a large city, has its advantages and disadvantages. Having a friend who knows the ropes and can help you navigate a new place is invaluable. And having someone you can rely on makes the journey one worth enduring.
On the homefront, this expatriation has meant different things to each of us, but of utmost concern has been the transition of our son. Initially the language barrier was a substantial challenge.
It’s been a challenge for all of us.
In my experience, Chilangos insist on talking (all.of.the.time), yet they are also are harsh, critical, and borderline mean and impatient when it comes to speaking the language. That makes learning the language and having the perseverance to continue a constant challenge. You have to have a thick skin and an iron will to learn Spanish here. Yet, despite the stormy reception to our fledgling Spanish, I am so proud that my little boy has kept trying to learn a new language and demonstrated a willingness to operate outside of his comfort zone. He now speaks much better Spanish and has both the confidence to try new things and the patience to perserve.
Observation: The going can be rough, but when you stay the course, the road gets easier (or at least more familiar!).
And lastly, after nine months of not working, I can’t help but think about how much we gave up to come here.
We’re rapidly approaching what would be bonus distribution time at BC, and I’m a little sad. If I were still working, I’d be getting a bonus and some corporate stock right now. And even though I totally hated my job, I really miss the money part. Still, I know that coming here was the 100% right thing to do. DH needed the challenge. I needed the break. And, the boy needed a culturally enhanced experience. We’re all benefiting from this, even though it’s sometimes hard to think long term. Despite my current melancholy, this decision remains the smartest strategy for our family.
Observation: Forging your own path involves taking risks and relying on your gut. When you follow someone else’s path, you’re not forging ahead.
Wherever you go and whatever you do, I hope that your path is a happy one. I’m looking forward to watching my little boy explore his path. The possibilities I see when I look at him (especially at night after he is finally asleep!!!) make me scared, proud and excited. The next few months should be full of change and growth for all of us.
Thank you, as always for following where the road takes me. I can’t wait to see where we go next! <3Kim