Meeting Things Head On

by DeLora Frederickson
San Miguel de Allende

This week we had a friend in town.  One day she wasn’t feeling well, so while we were out doing things in the car we decided to drop off some provisions.

This meant I drove our Subaru Forester on tiny one way cobblestone streets in downtown SMA. Now this takes a hardy soul for sure.  The streets are so narrow that often times we have to bring the outside mirrors in toward the car.  I was doing fine…even though we had NO idea where we were, how to get out of there and google maps couldn’t keep up.  I was doing great actually.  No anxiety, charging forward….and then came Insurgentes.  This is a main street in SMA travelled by cabs and camiones – public buses.  There are cars parked along one side, lots of folks walking on the sidewalks and many many vehicles.  So the best part of the story is …..I was going downhill the WRONG way.  People were yelling at me from the curb…but I thought I am just going for it!  I can make it down before anymore cars need to come up.  AND then came the Ruta 6 camione.

Camione coming right at me!

Well, you can guess what ended up happening…I had to back up the hill with that bus right in front of me and the same people on the sidewalks!  And I just did it.  NBD.  No anxiety or uncertainty.

As I looked back on that adventure I kept thinking…this is a reflection of my whole life here.  Things come at me and I just have to let them push me up the hill, ‘encourage’ me to do something.  Here in Mexico it is easy to be overwhelmed with not knowing the streets, customs, where someplace is, etc… and so I often opt not to do it.  But that day was so empowering…..I backed up that freaking street with the bus coming at me cars parked along side me and felt better about life after I got turned around and on my way.

Today a friend told us about a sale (we need stuff for our apt) and it was out of the city a bit.  This is a situation that could intimidate me and I would just not go.  But that is not what happened.  We drove out of town with a google map and a few sketchy directions from 2 different people.  Again google maps couldn’t keep up but we drove on.  After the pedestrian bridge 4 km after the municipal building turn right.  What is a km?  And where is the municipal building? We found the sale.  We didn’t buy anything, but we brought stuff home for a friend in our compound who knew folks out there.  I was satisfied from our efforts.

Someone recently asked me if I am glad we made the move.  I paused, not sure how to answer.  On some level it was the only choice with the care of my Mother for sure. On other levels I struggle with the culture here.  I confront my beliefs and judgements everyday.  That is not easy.  I am willing but it is not easy.

I am satisfied and enjoy the adventure. I am not unhappy.  Is it important to be ‘happy’?  I still don’t know how to answer that question.