I’m beginning to find my place here, even if it is in chaos. I find I’m more suited to change than I used to be, maybe even more than I am to stability. That was the point of all this, to change and adapt. I didn’t think I would get so used to the way I find things out here, but I’m sure the chaos of Mexico had a lot to do with that. If nothing else, Mexico is chaotic.
Here it’s a little more stable, if still strange. I find that when I hesitate it’s more because of old fears and paranoia than it is reality. I look down an alley and wonder what’s there, but there is still the chance that I won’t like what I find. Here, it’s usually homes or businesses, but it’s rarely something completely unknown. There is a comfort to the predictable, but if I wanted to know what the future held I would have stayed home.
I know that all life can be chaotic, but there is something dangerous about relying on the next paycheck. I know it’s part of human nature, to know where the food is, where it is safe, where pleasure and comfort can be found. That is the animal that we are, staying where it’s safe, and trying to make it safer, easier, more comfortable. But for me, when the animal is content, my soul is not.
I used to look forward to the ordinary. I used to envy the people who could see their entire life ahead of them. Working at the family business, buying a home, marriage, kids, old age, and death. There is something wonderful about that life, something extraordinary, simple, and yet infinitely complicated.
I have had discussions with both my brother and sister about it. My brother envies me because I get to see the world, that I got what I wanted. No, I have this because everything else I chose fell apart, because that simple life disappeared with my ex. My sister thinks that we are total opposites, that everything I love she hates, and everything she hates I love. No, I just can’t embrace the life she has because it would make all that I do impossible. I can’t stay home and see the world. There cannot be two skies.
This is where I stand now, halfway around the world, with some connection to my past but looking forward. I remember the people and places I have been, and I miss them, but I am not attached. Everyone gets culture shock, so I’m told. Being here is strange, but no stranger to me than Georgia. No more alien than Ohio, San Francisco, or New York. I don’t feel the shock. I feel the stress of not knowing where the food I want is, or how much it is exactly, but I am getting used to it. I never feel out of place until I go home.
I think its the pull of the life I once wanted. The idea that if that had worked out my kids would be the same ages as my nephews. That I would have a job that’s good enough, hopefully something interesting, or at least challenging. But that life is a ghost, and the dead can never become more in this life than they were. We all have our ghosts and demons, but I choose to acknowledge them, talk with them from time to time, then move on.
I don’t know that it’s the healthiest choice, that it’s a life I should be living, or that it’s what’s best, but it works for me. One step, then the next…