I had a fairly good childhood. I was bullied a bit in elementary school, but as far as bullying goes it was pretty mild. In high school I became sort of a floater. I wasn’t really popular. I didn’t get invited to the “cool” parties and the in- crowd didn’t spend much time noticing I was alive. However, I wasn’t really unpopular or “weird” either. I mean I was weird, totally weird, but bullying wasn’t a huge issue in my school and I wasn’t that kind of weird. I had groups of friends from a few different cliques, but I never really felt like I fit in 100% to any of them. Although I was generally liked, I felt a bit like an outsider a lot of the time. This feeling intensified as I struggled with depression and grief. When I developed asthma I inched a bit further outside of that “normal” range. I thought I understood what it meant to be the one that didn’t fit in. That was until I moved to Mexico. Now fitting in has taken on a whole new meaning.
Shortly after writing a post about accidental racism, I watched the Christmas episode of Black-ish and I couldn’t help but laugh. There is a fine line between being racist and funny and it seems like the more of a minority you are the “funnier” you have permission to be. I have to admit I was a bit weary about Black-ish at first as I was worried it would be too politically correct or bring up stereotypical racial issues that I feel are way over represented. However, I was pleasantly surprised and now consider it one of the best new comedies of the season. In the Christmas episode there is a running joke regarding Mexicans. Perhaps because I live in Mexico for part of the year I have started picking up on more Mexican jokes than I used to. I find them hilarious. But, am I allowed to laugh?
When you have anxiety, stability is the key. Too much change, too quickly can send you into a tailspin. When Jay and I move to Mexico for the winter I notice that it always takes me at least a week to adjust to my new surroundings. But, even then, Mexico is far more anxiety inducing to me than Canada. Many factors contribute to this, but the biggest one is not speaking the language. I’ve been learning since our first trek here in 2012, but I find languages difficult. As ironic as it is seeing that I am an English major, ask any of my French teachers and they’ll corroborate my story. Math, science, history, no problem, but ask me to speak in a foreign language I seize up. I suspect it comes from my desire to do everything perfectly. I tend to learn on my own and only show others once I’ve mastered it. I hate looking “stupid” in front of others. Which poses a problem when learning languages, since the best way to learn them is to speak it with natives and practice, practice, practice! But I’m tired of not being able to be myself in Mexico so this year I’m going to change some things.
My OCD has had it’s ups and downs over the course of my life, but it’s always been present in some form. In the past few years it’s been very manageable and it’s main manifestation is in my house. When I’m at home I’m extremely clean and everything (and I mean everything) has it’s place. Especially when I’m stressed I just can’t focus when things aren’t just as they are supposed to be. This can get difficult as I normally work from home.
In 2012, at Jay’s request, we moved to Cancun for a year. Jay is not a fan of the cold weather and is a huge fan of the ocean, so for the last two (Canadian) winters we’ve gone back to Cancun. We are currently here for the third time and I’ve noticed a change. Life in general is different here and our specific day to day activities are also different. We don’t have all the amenities that we have at home and we live in a very modest house. Things move slower and it’s impossible to keep things perfectly clean.