Moving to Mexico

Could I actually live in a condo in a tourist area? I don't think so!

Over the years, I have had one identity crisis after another. The identity crisis recurs most often is the one in which I can’t decide if I should live in Chicago or Mexico because I’m not sure if I’m Mexican or American. Sometimes I feel as if I don’t belong here in the U.S. because I feel so Mexican and like a foreigner here. When I’m Mexico, I feel very comfortable there. Of course, that could be merely because I’m a guest there and the excitement and the newness of my being there hasn’t worn off yet. If I stayed much longer, everyone might not be as friendly toward me. I’ve mentioned to some of my friends that I was thinking of moving to Mexico and they immediately offered to help me pack! Wow! What friends!

I went to Mexico when I was 22 and I seriously considered staying there. But then I realized that I would have to get a job in order to support myself. But Mexicans don’t really want foreigners coming in and taking away their jobs. Besides, I didn’t really want to work a back-breaking job in Mexico when I already had a back-breaking job in Chicago. So I went back home to Chicago. However, I often daydreamed about living in Mexico.

Now, I am actually in a position where I can afford to move to Mexico since I have a small pension. I now have to work a job in order to live comfortably in Chicago, but I could live more than comfortably if I moved to Mexico. And I won’t have to work at all if I lived in Mexico. I could sit at home all day writing blog entry after blog entry. Wait, that’s what I’m doing now! But I have to teach in order to supplement my pension. In Mexico, I would always find something to keep me busy since they do have the Internet down there. And I wouldn’t be lonely because I have a lot of family in Mexico in several cities. Our family, both on my father’s and mother’s side, was very prolific. That’s why Rodriguez and Martinez are some of the most common Spanish last names in the world. So I wouldn’t be lonely. And even though I’m American, Mexicans–my family in particular–consider me Mexican, sort of. Since I’m American, everyone in Mexico was surprised that I spoke Spanish and ate tortillas. I’m glad that Mexicans thought of me as a Mexican, at least most of the time.

When I go back to Mexico in July, I’ll take another look at where I could possibly live in Mexico. I really love Celaya, Guanajuato, the home of my father’s family. It’s a fairly big city with a small-town feel to it. And, I have an uncle, two aunts, and fifteen cousins who live there! Plus, there’s a university in the city where I could possibly find a teaching position if I ever have the urge to teach again. That would be quite an adventure for me. So now I’m struggling to redefine myself and resolve my latest identity crisis. I’m sure that this time I’ll find myself. Or, maybe not.

¿Dónde debo vivir? ¿Chicago o México?

3 thoughts on “Moving to Mexico

  1. Hey SJR,

    I see you found me! Thanks for reading my blog! We finally agree on something! 🙂 I mean about the identity crisis.

    You’re right about not feeling welcome there in Mexico. I remember when I was a kid everyone called me gringo. But it was mostly the kids. The adults were always more accepting. This last time I went to Mexico I felt very comfortable. After I crossed into Mexico, there was a big sign on the highway that read, “¡Bienvenidos, paisanos!” I know that I’m still out of place, but I was happy there.

  2. El Doctor:

    What’s up, man? I think Chicanos are born with an identity crisis. I know I have always had one – so you are not alone. We are foreigners here and the growing hatred is starting to scare me. However, as much as I like parts of Mexico I didn’t exactly feel welcome there either you know? You’re a little older than me so maybe it’s different for you, plus your Spanish would put mine to shame. I was called a pocho there. It was still a “us and them” mentality. That wouldn’t stop me from moving there if I could though.

    It never ceases to amaze me how people view Mexico – most people who don’t know anything about it view it as either a border town hell hole or a resort destination. They have no clue about the rest of the country and that blows me away.

    I don’t know what you are searching for – only you know that but I do know your struggle. There’s an old saying: You can never go home again. That means different things to different people but it mostly rings true.

    – SJR (aka the broken forum)

  3. It sounds like you are mentally preparing for another life’s adventure. Still, …

    Dear Grasshopper, Whatever you do remember to always move toward something and not try to get away from something: You cannot move away from yourself.

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