Thursday, June 16, 2011

Life in Mexico Continues

"You look so different, my goodness, what happened?"

"Your eyes are sparkling, you look alive and you are actually smiling!"

"Are you going to go back to Canada now?"

These are some of the comments I have been receiving lately since separating from the ex. Yes, I am alive, yes, I am feeling happy and no, I am not leaving Mexico! Why would I leave? My life here is my own, it may have begun here because of the ex, but I created my own place, my own identity and Mexico is in my heart and soul. There are a lot more factors that go into staying here than just one Mexican man.

My reasons for living here are complex at this point, it's not simply "I like the weather", though that certainly plays a part. It's not just the beach or the cenotes or the tacos or the people. Mostly, I just like myself more here. I am healthier, physically and mentally. I don't feel the driving need for more "stuff", more success or to compete with anyone that I felt in Toronto. I am not rich here, nor am I poor, I live pay cheque to pay cheque, but I have no debt (no savings either, but I'll deal with that another day).

My son is getting a fantastic education here, not only academically, but in life and the planet as we go exploring the ocean and the jungle and the ruins as often as possible. He enjoys learning about his bicultural heritage, reading about Pancho Villa and the Mounties, singing "Mexicanos al grito de guerra" and "O Canada!".

Today I read about the riots in Vancouver after the Stanley Cup finals. It saddened me greatly and made me reflect on life outside of Canada. The people rioting in the streets over a stupid hockey match have no idea of the big picture, the world outside their happy little place where the worst thing that could happen to them is the loss of a game (that they didn't even play in, how could they have so much invested in something they don't participate in?!?) After living outside of Canada for so long I have a great appreciation for just how good it is back there. And I also see how few people really understand how fortunate they are. Living as an ex-pat (blech, really don't like that word), I can see the world as a whole, the injustices of poverty and human rights and the life of luxury that Canadians live. If you never leave your cozy little home, you will never see just how good you've got it and you'll simply complain and grouse over the most meaningless things. (NOT everyone, I am well aware of that, there are plenty of Canadians who travel who know what I am talking about and I am pretty sure they weren't setting cars on fire last night).

And so, I appreciate my old life and I doubly appreciate my "new" one (can it be considered "new" after almost 8 years?) Leaving Canada opened my eyes to see the good, the bad and the ugly in life and made me focus on the GOOD. While life is certainly not perfect, Mexico is my home. I enjoy my job, I love my friends, I have exciting adventures and I face new challenges every day. The last two months have NOT been easy, but I will not complain, I will forge ahead, take each problem as it arises and feel better about myself with every issue I can solve on my own.

"Cancun Canuck" is a big part of my identity (not all of it, sorry, some things I have to keep just for me). Take away the "Cancun" part and I lose a piece of who I am. I have some exciting new projects coming up that are a direct result of being "Cancun Canuck" and I can't wait to tell you about them. But that is for another day. For now, "Viva Mexico!", my home, my life, my heart, I won't abandon you (so please keep bringing good things to Max and I, don't disappoint us!)


Steve Cotton said...

A lot of my friends still ask me why I live in Mexico. I should simply refer them to your post. Nice work.

KfromMichigan said...

Well written Amiga! If people would only take the time to really know Mexico, they would love it as we do! You and Max enjoy this new life.

Anonymous said...

i must live under a rock! I didnt know you separated! I wouldn't leave either! Good for you! Stay where you are happy :)

Dr George Leddick said...

Did you refer to yourself as "bicultural"? Rumor has it there are both French and English roots in Canada. So you were bicultural before you left home. If you count Yucatecan, you two are quadri-cultural! It must be nice to be both multitalented and multicultural!

Manolo said...

Well, not everyone has French roots in Canada... and actually it seems that even in Montreal now, "alophones" are the majority in the public schools. Anyway... not the comment I was going to make... it is just that I also got some (not many actually, maybe only one) comment when I split up from my ex-wife (10 years ago, almost to the date) about why didn't I go back to Guate. Well... we (you and I) have found new roots (r) and (buffalo) wings on other places... I never say "going home"... but visiting my family. Maybe it is time to visit your family ;-)then you will know that home is really where the <3 is

Fned said...

I can relate to that. I often think that that is probably why my mom never left Mexico nor took us up NOB to live in the US when she could have. Now that my dad is gone I wonder if she gets the same questions from friends and family asking her why she doesn't go back. Although if she does, I can almost hear her replying back in pretty much the same words you've just written.

xx Fned.

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