Last weekend I met a woman my age who lived in Costa Rica for several years. Like me, she sometimes wonders how she ended up in our cute little town, and, like me, has come to accept this latest stage in her life. When I first mentioned that I lived in Mexico for three years, she was excited to meet someone else who had lived outside the US because so many people here have never even left the state. I’m not saying anything bad about people who’ve chosen to stay put, but living abroad gives you a perspective on life that I wish more people could experience.
I haven’t done a “It’s Been X Number of Months Since…” post in a while, mainly because my life has more or less returned to how it was before I left. (Aside from the whole living-in-my-parents’-basement thing.) The things I still carry with me from my time in Mexico will always be a part of who I am. My views on money, especially in regards to wants vs needs, are forever changed, as are my ideas on what truly constitutes a bad day. I touched on this before and worry that I ruffled a few feathers at the time, but I try very hard not to get caught up in what I consider “first world problems.” That’s not to say I don’t grumble as much as the next person when the idiot in front of me insists on driving fifteen miles below the speed limit (IN A 25!), but how I choose to respond has changed considerably. I may complain to a friend via text, but I try to let it go and certainly don’t air my thoughts publicly.
While in Mexico I often made light of the bizarre things I saw on a regular basis (like having a machine gun pointed at me — I don’t think I’ll ever be rid of that feeling) when really, that’s been the only time in my life I was probably justified in my whining.
Anyway, my point is that a part of me will always be an ex-pat. I try hard not to insert “when I was in Mexico” into more than one conversation a day because I know that can get tiring, but it’s changed who I am and made me the person I am today.
Just wanted to share.