Have you ever experienced a change that you just knew was right for some reason? Have you ever followed your heart with no guarantees?
I feel that I have done both of these things in the last six months and I now experience a transition phase that is forever shaping and reshaping me, as if I were a flexible and moldable clay statue. Living in New York for 12 years of my life definitely shaped me in a very specific way. Now by living the contrast of that life here in the Mexican desert, I finally see what I had become in New York City. I was a good person who accomplished several valuable things, but a workaholic at heart for lack of a better description and potentially addicted to long distance relationships. This played into being a workaholic—I was unavailable for true love and available to accomplish more “valuable” things while coming home to an empty apartment…and the cycle went on.
How does one break out of a cycle? A pattern that you see unfolding over and over again until you start getting afraid that the rest of your life will just look like that until death. I found a way to break cycles. It has to do with trying something absolutely and completely different than what you have been doing. Potentially the opposite of what you’ve been doing. The scenario is also potentially the one scenario that scares you the most and the one that you swore you would never be in. Many years ago I swore to never be caught dead being a housewife. The connotations of the words “house” and “wife” led me out of Mexico and into New York City. How can two little words shape someone’s life? The important element to notice here is that behind the two words, resided another word: FEAR.
I’ve left everything behind, in the name of love, like many songs say. In the name of love but very truthfully in the name of finally breaking out of my cycle, of experiencing what I most fear and to potentially find a very good lesson in it. The lesson may just be that the biggest blessings emanate from our extreme bravery.
As I write this, I sit in my mother-in-law’s home while my Tornado husband travels to and from the fields. The super woman (my mother-in-law) sits in the next room playing bridge with her equally amazing sister. These women, in their seventies, have been the bravest of the Mexican desert: being able to lead a life fully devoted to their families despite super woman’s deep desire of enterprise throughout her life. That was just not a possibility in her generation. Her husband never allowed her to work outside the home. She thus proceeded to create beauty in the shape of instilling values and education in her four children and devoting all her free time to good deeds in the community. I know she’s a dreamer, with dreams of what she could have been or done. But in this new life of mine she is the example, such as my own mother, of the incredible families that only strong women like them can create, raise and sustain. It becomes a beautiful challenge for me now, when in the past it was something to run away from. I, after all, come from their same culture. Can a woman just completely cut off a part of her culture?
So the workaholic entrepreneur from New York is slowly now becoming a hybrid, very slowly—a prototype of the new Mexican woman, one who can live at the cutting edge of our times, finally learn to enjoy the gift of family, enjoy a lazy afternoon without feeling enormously guilty for not working and learning to work just for the love of it, not for addiction. And finally to learn to integrate the work she loves to a new and potentially balanced life.
Have you ever attempted a complete life change with no guarantees? I reflect on my great leap from NYC to the Mexican desert as my husband arrives home with a crate of grapes, freshly cut from our neighbor’s fields. I open the crate and see the firm fruits waiting for my hand to touch them.
I know the work it took to bring them to our table.
I smile and welcome him home.