When I quit my job (six years ago) and moved home to Tennessee, it was with the plan that I would spend a few months with friends in Mexico. That plan went quickly from spending a few months to actually getting a job in Chiapas–but still with the plan to return to the United States in July of 2012.
You know that trite saying that if you want God to laugh you should tell him your plans?
My six months in Mexico has turned into (nearly) six years in Mexico. My sabbatical-of-sorts has given me an amazing husband who serves the Lord and two little girls who keep the laughter and love bubbling in our home. My trip-turned-life has allowed me to grow in my professional life as well, although that is perhaps the less important of these three gifts.
Somewhere along the way, Mexico stopped being funny writing material, and just became normal. Now it’s the United States and their customs, way of thinking, and lifestyle that seem so foreign to me!!! The people in the United States live to work and the people in Mexico work to live. The people in the United States fill up their time with screens and activities that keep them away from their families–and even when they are with their families, the screen is a buffer of distraction. The people in Mexico have family at the core, and everything else is secondary.
Our life in Mexico is peaceful, which is ironic considering my state is on a restricted travel list for government employees. Our days are spent with my girls playing with their babies, the rooster crowing at all times of day, and the smell of something yummy wafting through the house. During the week we buzz to school and daycare, but the evenings are our time–and we aren’t too tired to enjoy them!
When I write, the core is usually a place of great emotion. When I have emotion that I can’t quite process, it’s hard to put that down into words. This summer was full of surprise for us, as I found out that I will have to return to Tennessee to teach in order to keep my license. As I prepare for my final year in Mexico, I no longer am experiencing Mexico firsts, but rather my lasts. My last conventions. My last first day of school. My last Independence Day. My last…
And so I find myself coming to this place again to write with a different lens: Yes, life in Mexico is just life, but it is coming to an end as our future unfolds before us. I am trying to stay positive, as I know that God has good things planned for us. (And how fitting that the same message that comforted me when I came here is comforting me as I prepare to leave here…) I know that there are opportunities in the United States that will be good for our family, and that God is taking us back in his time. I know that there will be ups and downs as we face the challenges of this year. I know that someday, we will look back on this time as if it were a minor series of events.
Ah, well, what is life if it isn’t “a fine mingling of holding on and letting go?”