July 28, 2013 (final version ?)
“Where are your treasures?”
We humans love our “ruts” .
We get up in the morning, (shave?), wash (?), make coffee, fire up the computer … daily-following some unknowingly-programmed but carefully-honed combinations of morning ablutions, dressing, eating, drinking, conversing gently with those we love (?) and, we predictably start thinking about the coming day.
We really are much like deer who take the same trails for centuries—even when that trail no longer makes sense.
And then … the phone rings … or the doorbell rings … or someone gets sick … or someone dies … or some deadline looms (~ like having to renew our Immigration permits ~ or ~ dealing with getting our previously-legal cars out-of-the-doghouse).
Each, and all, are change beyond our control.
If we briefly step outside our ruts, and step outside our frustrations and reactions to these changes, we might notice that change is a constant.
If you can still see-light and hear-thunder, then things are changing.
If you breath-out, and then breath-in … things are changing.
If we are living in the same settings where we grew-up, matured (? *grin* ?) and live around neighbors whom we sort-of-know, then we have at least a reasonable shot at understanding the changes. But……
What happens when we are living in a different place—and the slap-in-the-face-with-a-wet-fish inevitably comes?
What happens if we don’t speak the language of where we live?
What if we are foreigners—living far from from our original nests and regular haunts?
Do we really have much of a chance of quickly or clearly understanding the inevitable changes, as a foreigner living in a foreign land?
Wal-Mart, Costco, Sam’s Club, Nestlé, satellite TV, Magic Jack, Skype ~ alcohol and internet ~ offer momentary physical comforts—briefly distracting the psyche—but they are not foundations worthy of trusting when the slap-in-the-face-with-a-wet-fish inevitably comes.
What if most of our day-to-day interactions are mainly with other out-of-place foreigners—living and chatting together in our little enclaves … unknowingly isolated from the real lives of the local community—experiencing “locals” and learning-about-México through the maid and the mozo.
As change rolls through and over us:
Do we tend to repeat our same very-limited-understandings with the other members of the enclave tribe until we have heard the same thing we proposed last week now repeated from multiple seemingly-different, seemingly-independent sources—when in reality, it is all just oft-parroted variations, originating from a single source?
When the same message is repeated within a closed-community and then reflects back to us from multiple different directions, then even heavily-flawed and false-messages/ideas take on an air of reality and truth….
Subconsciously, when one person claps, it incites others (a slight distance away), to start clapping….
The clapping spreads—as primal the urge to be part of the group…part of the tribe—washes over us, triggering our most primitive internal wiring to fire, fire, fire…. The clapping swells … and grows … and ultimately spreads to everyone in the once-apathetic crowd—all applauding what was actually a mediocre, modestly-flawed performance.
Really, it can be very challenging to live in a foreign land where change comes in seemingly random ways from unanticipated quarters—forced onto us by seemingly uncaring unreasonable-but-powerful individuals in unexpected ways—all experienced using past-templates and past-models that just do not fit our new foreign “home”—Clashing with how we think things are done—Colliding with how we think things should be done—Jarring us out of our once-comfortable ruts.
How do we deal with the daily, sometimes-jarring inevitable changes? Do we……
Dive even deeper into our ruts?
Repeat our mantras-of-comfort?
Go buy something to distract ourselves?
Take a drink and escape into well-worn routines of “WTF?” or “WTH!”?
Phone a friend?
Reach-out and touch other members of our group seeking re-assurance from “reliable” people and people “we trust” who have similarly impaired abilities to understand what is happening— unknowingly nurturing ever-deeper thickets of US v. them?
Even when the “US”… are people we imagine must magically be ”like us“~ fellow clappers ~ Creating loud clapping by an apparent group of us‘s ~ who simply share similarly-impaired abilities to understand what is happening?
Can you feel the power of the crowd? Can you feel its hunger for even more power? … its hunger for even more members … swelling Our Tribe to impressive proportions … driven by the drumbeats of conformance, building on internally-reflected waves of self-approval and assumed acceptance.
How dare one risk rejection in the face of such forces….
The Forces of the GET! – (gringo enclave tribes)
Just who do they think they are, making big fresh pot-holes in our carefully-rutted-roads?
Just what gives them the right … to disturb my world … OUR world?
Just who are they, that they think they can take advantage of me?… of US?
Why are they doing this … to ME?
IT’S NOT FAIR !!!!
THEY are abusing their power.
Must we get them, before they get us?
Do we take a breath?
Inhale … Exhale … slowly … and then smile knowingly ~ inside and outside ~ because we know at very deep levels that we are survivors.
We always have options. We are ultimately safe. We are ultimately and profoundly … secure … as long as the things we treasure are tucked deep inside us.
* * * *
Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry
Read on, MacDuff.
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Very well said! It made me look into the mirror. I am going to have a much better day!
What a nice good morning message to someone who is breathing in the bad and breathing out the good….YucaLandia gracias…Been here a few months and well said. The local community is very good to me and I must remember to breath very deliberately when I am in the ” In Crowd” that I so aptly escaped….
good good insights…
I am pre wired for all of it. Have been for some time. Now ready to take steps and JUMP.
better later than never.Webcam, annual visit ‘home’ for christmas,…grand daughter and son..spend the summer.
The rest of my life? My life, my passions, non materialistic, knowledge, sharing…the outlier outloud..the truly ‘simple’, healthy lifestyle continued/improved.
Skype? or Magic Jack? (free calls through the internet) to people who are skype-averse?
My first impression with the repetition of the “truth” was that I was surrounded by lemmings! Then I faced the shock of waking up to what the “US” from other parts of the “US” thought – about life, politics, women, booze. My tribe here is teeny tiny small small small. I like that rut! Great post!
Great blog, certainly true here in Baja as elsewhere.
After 12 years of “visiting” my Wife and I are changing to Temporary Residency visa’s. We probably will go permanent when some “Stuff” is settled in the States. We love reading everyone’s experiences in Mexico and especially the Cancun area, our base. Our there any good Blogs, websites, where people exchange day to day experiences and info ?. We want to build a base of contacts and learn from them. Thank you for all replies.
Charles & Dorothy
what do you find appealing about Mexico?
Hi Steve, enjoy your blog, do you happen to know of any blogger that has a similar site for the Baja California Region? That’s where the better half and I want to retire. Cheers, Rudy – Houston, TX
Rudy, I have been I Ensenada area for a couple decades, Full time for more than 10 years. There are some bloggers, a know a couple. Credibility is lacking in my mind.
BTW: we have family in Merida, so we visit a bit. It is different, but most of what Steve writes us too.
Steve, Thanks for your diligence.
oops! “most of what Steve writes _fits_ us too.”
Ahhh, that’s great to know your in Ensenada and glad to know his info applies to Baja. So since your in the region of our interest. I’m looking for some website links that are the most popular for 1. Real Estate (we want to rent for a year, before we consider buying)
2. job listings for expats or Mexicans. I am born in the USA but hold a dual citizenship status. (I have both passports)
3. A mexican search engine that will bring up Mexican websites (Google brings up US based websites when doing Baja Searches mostly)
4. Any other websites you think would be helpful to my wife and I that has valuable information on relocating to Mexico.
After the El Paso & Ohio mass shootings this week, we are done with living in a country where just about everyone and their offspring own a gun!
1. maybe look on Facebook. some pages/groups I know: Talk Baja, Ensenada Expats, PUNTA BANDA COMMUNITY and several others. they may have something to help.
2. Same as above. I believe most expats here are illegal (no residency permits) so it is hard to measure. Try the on-line news papers.
3. Google works for me, I know of no “mexican search engines”
4. same as above, try Facebook and newspapers.
many people have guns here too, but a very different culture. less use of psychotropic drugs perhaps is the main reason.
sdibaja at gmail dot com
Thanks bud, great info and God bless America & Mexico.