martes, 10 de noviembre de 2015
Why Do I Do This?
What is it that attracts me to this blogging thing?
When I moved to Mexico for the first time, I thought it would be great to write a letter home every week. But how much cooler would it be for everyone I knew to be able to read that letter? Because, let´s face it, when I wrote letters to friends and family, inspiration would seize me within one week. So I´d wind up writing three or four copies of roughly the same letter to three or four different people. Had I only know that, through the magic of the internet, is was possible to maximize my time and write one letter for all my loved ones to read! However, this was back in 2003 and the blogosphere was in its infancy. Not being tech-savvy, I was clueless this medium existed. So, during my first two years in Mexico, I was mostly out-of-touch with people, except for the occasional email.
When we moved to Saltillo, I was seven months pregnant with my daughter. I explored the town well for the first month or two, and then more or less hibernated for the next few months, being the on-demand milk machine and sleeping whenever possible. "Sleep when the baby sleeps." Right. No one told my daughter that most babies take a nap or two every day.
On the very first day she finally took a nap (at the ripe old age of 4 1/2 months--Mother´s Day, no less), I started this blog. At the time, my only plans for this blog were to keep my friends and family in touch with how my daughter was growing. But then I started writing about Mexico. Most of my friends won´t have the chance to visit me here. They´re curious, and have their preconceived notions about what Mexico is like. Much like my preconceived notions, some are true, some are false, and most are some nuanced version that´s neither true nor false. This blog became my way to explain what I like about Mexico.
What I like about Mexico can´t be summed up in two sentences, those sound bites that we like to take away from stories of others´ travels. What I like about Mexico is a conglomeration of lots of little things, most too subtle to even remember, unless I find myself sitting down in front of a computer screen, trying to explain what it is that draws me here.
It´s the uncovered bulb that lights every corner store at night, bravely pouring its light and warmth into the darkness.
It´s the native poinsettias, colorfully proclaiming a joyful holiday, instead of the cold, white snow that I grew up with.
It´s the pork meat, slowly rotating on a spit, exposed to the air and elements and fire, dripping with fat--delicious and decadent and dirty all at the same time.
It´s the exposed, aged, wooden beams in the ceiling, and the foot-thick stone window frames in colonial buildings, silently supporting and witnessing centuries of history.
It´s hanging my clothes to dry on a line in my patio, knowing that they´ll be dry in a half hour, with that clean-clothes-crunch, and smelling of the sun and fresh air.
After doing this for awhile, I realize that this blog is mainly just for me, to define my thoughts and experience and is a somewhat concrete way to make sense of life--a therapy of sorts, a practice of which could benefit anyone, wherever they live.
But like any therapy, a certain amount of sharing must take place. And let me be honest, this sharing is what makes my husband a bit skittish about this whole blog business. Growing up in a big city, Mr. Mexico City is well-versed in the dangers of letting strangers know your personal information. And he´s spent enough time with Ms. Small Town me to realize that I can show some pretty amazing displays of midwestern American naivety in that regard.
But, at the same time, what´s the point of doing anything unless it´s personal?
This blog started off as a vent for my loneliness. Then it became a means of meeting the first, real, human friend I had here in Saltillo. Then I found a community of bloggers, and we all discovered that we´re not just a handful of nutters packing up and leaving the US for life in Mexico--there are LOTS of us! Finally, this has provided me with a means of meeting people who are preparing to move to Saltillo, and reassure them that yes, you can do this, too.
It´s funny, the places where small decisions can take us. I just thought blogging would be a good creative outlet for me. I had no idea I´d get something nearly tangible--like real friendships--out of it.
This makes me pause when I make a small change in my life. Will this change wind up taking on a life of its own?
But I guess that´s that´s the good thing about some changes. I´ll try to embrace them more often.