10 December 2016

The How's and the Why's

Please bear with me as I try to crack my way out of a writing dry spell. I've been crushed under the weight of writer's block for awhile, and I've been trying to find a way out. My life in Mexico is now so commonplace to me, that I doubt myself into thinking anyone would actually want to read about it.

I get asked several times a week, how do you do it?, or even why do you do it? when people ask about my four-hour commute to work or decision to follow a man to a foreign country. Even though people ask me this multiple times, I still am caught-off gaurd that anyone wouldn't do this. I never quite know how to answer these kinds of questions. When people ask how, my answers usually are simple ones: "I just do it" or "I have no other option". While both of these answers are true, neither one truly scratches the surface of how or why I wait multiple hours in the line, or how I can live without a microwave, or can live the kind of life where I have to light the pilot light on my water heater.

How I do it IS actually a simple answer: I just do it. Hector knows I may not enjoy it, but life is not an endless ride of pleasure and happiness. Life is meant to be enjoyed overall, not every second of everything you do. Sometimes I need to do things I don't like, including sitting in traffic and going to work and being away from my family. Those are all normal adult things that every single person who asks me "how" also does. I just have to drive a little further than they do. When they ask how I live without multiple modern convienences I simply don't notice that I don't have a microwave or hot water until the second I need it and I don't have it. But fortunately for me, I know that hot water heaters and microwaves have not always been part of human history, and I can adapt easily. We don't make so much food at once that it has to be reheated later, we make just enough every time. We don't drink or cook with tap water here in Tijuana, so having hot tap water is not very necessary. Life itself is about a spieces' ability to adapt to it;s surroundings. Life in Mexico, or anywhere, is about adaptation.

The question of WHY I live a life I must adapt to on a daily basis is a harder question for me to answer. When I tell people I do it because of my husband, they are blown away that I, (or anyone maybe) would move to follow a man. I don't know if it's our culture's hosility towards men or Mexico that drives the sneers and comments that usually follow this question, but for me, it took a lot of careful consideration. I stayed behind in the US after Hector's deportation. I was not sure if I could live a life in Mexico. I told Hector I was coming, and backed out. I did not just jump up, drop my life, and start completely over like so many other women I've met. My decision to move to Mexico came after years of consideration and an ultimatum from Hector. I am here because my family and my marriage deserved a fighting chance. I chose this life, this man, to be my partner. It's true, that sometimes I am frustrated, lonely, angry, and sad. I really doubt life in the US would produce different emotions. I've learned through the fifteen years that our lives have been intertwined, that marriage is not rainbows and happiness, or even love. Marriage is a daily choice, common goals, and a lot of sacrificing. This seems to be counter-cultural. Is that the reasons for the why's?

This may not be the most successful life. This may not be the happiest life. This may not be the easiest life. But it's mine. It's the life I choose to live.


  1. 15 years in, girl, you're my hero. I've been here for 8 now and yep, still get asked that same question. It's funny how that particular one never does go away. Thank you for writing this out <3

    1. Well, I'm only 2-3 years into Mexico, but we're 15 years into our relationship.

  2. It is really great to see how well you have adapted to life down in Mexico after only two years. The commute to work must be a drag every day, but if you are completely used to it, then it just becomes a normal part of your day. But I have to say that if it were me in your place, it would take some time to get used to living without simple things like water heaters and microwaves. Good luck to you!