After an exhausting 1.5 days that it took me to get here all the way from San Luis Potosi,Mexico. I finally woke up a little over 7:00 in the morning somehow rested and ready to explore very little about Durham, but more about myself. I went downstairs for coffee and started walking to take a couple of hours to go do some shopping, what canI say my family and I needed some shoes and it wasn’t just about “oh my god shopping and malls” which I have to admit I love shopping more here, but anyways I tried my best to only get the necessary items. OK going back to my retreat…
As I was riding the bus (totally awesome there is public transportation) I started to pay attention not only on the people, which by the way I rode a bunch of buses today(I got the day pass for $4.50) and NOT one person was white. I mean I know some parts of the history of NC but this was a bit interesting to me because it has some sort of connection to the way I am feeling today. Anyways I was also starring at the highways, buildings and a lot of trees, many without green in them (I know I end up always coming in the winter). I wanted to understand where I felt better if Aqui o Alla (I know I know what you are thinking but WAIT) I wanted to point out to myself what I love, what I miss and I wanted to find out where I truly felt like a fish in a tank, but the truth is everything just got worst!
I miss Mexico, I miss it’s color, it’s noisy cars, all it’s buildings next to each other without a speck of green between because we literally are wall to wall. Right here I do not see much but nice and clean highways, roads and streets. I did miss walking and seeing a million other people walk along the streets. Although it is funny (actually not) but when I am in Mexico I don’t feel like I fit in either. I love the sense of liberty ( and I mean the kind of liberty that is written on a paper that supposedly says you belong and have certain rights) which again that is another different conversation but the point I want to make is that today I have been feeling more and more “Ni De Aqui Ni De Alla”. I admit that I easily can fit here in The States in a way that many people can’t even though they have been living here and I have not for 8 years. I can easily start conversations with the waitress, the cashier, the driver and everybody who I make contact with because part of me is from here! In Mexico it is hard for me to walk along the streets and be this way. As you can tell I am Ni De Aqui Ni De Alla but at the same time I am De Aqui y De Alla ( it is crazy and not many will understand it).
It might be easier if I was born in Mexico, grew up in Mexico and lived most all my life in Mexico or if I was born in Mexico, grew up in the States and live all my life in the States also if I would have had the privilege (or should I say RIGHT) to be born in Mexico, grew up in the States and could travel at least every year between both countries.
Not a lot of people can understand what it is belong and not belong to a country or two countries at the same time. I like to embrace the idea that I can and should fight for my right to belong and love 2 countries at the same time without having to chose between one.
Going back to the mall, I decided It was time to eat (and my phone was 1% away from dying) so I decided to sit down and eat a meal. Well, I get in and the hostess is Asian, the cashier is African along with the waiter oh and next to my table (and the outlet) are two Hispanic men and a woman eating. As I sit a friend calls me and I end up telling her about some of the reason why I was here in Durham, ODA and how I had been feeling minutes earlier in the bus to the mall. After I hang up I make eye contact with the three Hispanic people and we greet each other and start talking about the regular questions that are used to introduce each other. To make the long story shorter they end up sharing with me what is feels to live in The Great America these days and everything they carry on them. It was a great conversation and I needed to listen carefully to it. I approached them but I felt good doing it because I knew they also needed to get a lot of these things off their chests and I was looking for some answers. They shared how life for them is in The United States, first of all how they migrated but also how deep inside they do not feel like they belong, they miss their Mexico and asked me a lot about it. I could tell they really missed their lands and their “viejitos”. I could also tell that it wasn’t easy for them to leave their country. I saw in their tired eyes that they were going over a lot of stress. They shared with me that their kids are happy here, they are doing good in school, they have a lot of things and speak mostly in English. They have good cars, a nice home and their family is doing “good”. The never mentioned if they were happy, so I asked and they did tell me that their life is usually just work and their greatest joy are their kids and seeing them happy. Life here is just routine, they do miss their “viejitos” and their “pueblo” but they have to be where they can offer well-being to their family and that is here. They told me a lot more until someone says “break is over”, turns out they were in their shift and two were dish washers and one was a helper in the kitchen. I sneaked inside and chatted for a moment with them and some other people who were working, they asked me a lot about Mexico and I shared it all just so I could take them back to their “Mexico” at least for several minutes and I could see the joy in their eyes.
Bottom line is if our countries of origin could give us the well-being our families deserve we would not need to be forced to migrate and worst of all be forced to live in a golden cage. We all could be De Aqui y De Alla if we ALL had been granted the right to mobility since we were born.
After I left them I came back to the hotel and had 2 hours of meditation and reiki. I needed it so bad, I even felt a sleep after it. I needed this moment to remember and appreciate the fact that I can breath and immerse into myself.