I told myself I had plenty of time to write a post summarizing my year, and here I am on the morning of my flight out of Torreón hurrying to pull some thoughts together.
Here we go.
In work: During this, my first year teaching a full grade of students two different subjects, planning and teaching and falling on my face and getting up again, I learned how to (sometimes) trust myself instead of (always) looking to others for approval and validation.
In travel: I didn’t travel around in Mexico like I thought I would. I did learn my way around Torreón. I know (thanks to recommendations from coworkers) where to go to get my hair and nails done. I know through my own explorations and help from acquaintances where to go for sushi and pasta and a breakfast of scrambled eggs with dried beef. Thanks to a student, I know where to buy natural skin care products (one of my priorities, along with natural food, which isn’t so easy to find).
In language: I can now order tacos from the taquería around the corner from my house. I know how to tell the UBER or taxi driver how to get to my massage appointments. I can make a pedicure appointment over the phone. I can have a conversation with someone who doesn’t speak English (if they are patient enough) and understand, if not every word, at least the gist of the conversation.
In life: I learned some things about being from the United States (of America) and being from Latin America that do not make me feel good about the current social and political climate—although it’s possible and probable that this is nothing new except to me. I have had the bubble of my innocent illusions painfully punctured by incidents involving and conversations with Latinos.
I’ve laughed and I’ve wept.
Gotta run. It’s time to say “adios” and “hasta luego” to El Norte for the summer.
See you in August.