It's been a little bit.
It turns out that becoming a preschool teacher in Guadalajara, Mexico and attempting to launch a brand new blog/ministry with twelve of your friends from around the world will in fact distract a person from their personal blog.
So there's that.
The last time I wrote my life was filled with hot, smelly beans.
The truth is, the hot, smelly beans are still hanging around.
I did have the lovely opportunity to spend my spring break adventuring with friends and my mom in LA, Seattle, and Phoenix. It was a good dose of familiar mixed with exploratory adventure, and old traditions blending with brand new memories. The perfect amount of all of these things. Of course, as always, it ended too soon. But it was so very lovely and refreshing in so many ways.
I returned a few days before break actually ended and I had to head back to the daily grind, as I always do. I'm not a fan of diving right back into it all with no breathing space in-between. I need time to mourn what I am leaving behind, do laundry, deep clean, and remind myself that I am happy to be exactly where I am.
Which is exactly what I was trying to do last Sunday.
It's been miserably hot since I landed back in the Mexican desert last Friday. And from what I hear, this is only the beginning. May is what we should really be afraid for.
So, in between Netflix on the couch in front of the fan and cleaning and loads of laundry, somehow Lincoln (my little pup) decided to find and eat some rat poison. There was my heart racing, tears, trying to stay calm enough to handle it all, googling, neighbors with a car, a 24-hour vet, lots of puking and more tears and a walk home without my dog. Only because they wanted to keep him overnight to observe him. Thank God. (You see the hot, smelly beans don't exactly ever go away.)
Thankfully he was in great hands and got great care and it's all going to be just fine. I am only down a small chunk of pesos and a few long, blonde hairs. And of course, overly emotional, sentimental me blew up Instagram this week with pictures of my little dog. Because how else do you cope with such a traumatic situation!?
Yes. That happened.
Also I have discovered that solar heated water in your Mexican apartment is not a problem when you think it might be. During the winter months when it is cold and you are afraid that you will be stuck taking a cold shower every night...it would seem this is when it might be an issue. As it turns out, what's actually much worse, is when your water is heated by the sun which happens to beat down fiercely at a whopping 90-something degrees all day every day. All of the water in all of you faucets is scalding hot. No showers, no washing hands, no dishes. Interesting the things I learn the longer I live here.
Today I went on a picnic. With a lot of my coworkers/friends from the school where I work. There were a lot of pretty, colorful blankets in the grass by a tiny pond and next to a fountain where little Mexican kids and big ones too were playing. There were tall trees but the sun shined through them and we felt it strong on our skin. I smelled the sun on my skin which is one of my favorite smells in the whole wide world. There were pita chips, humus, grapefruits. There was a hammock and there was a lot of laughter. We sang happy birthday.
Yesterday I made my friend elephant pancakes for her birthday morning. She really loves pancakes and I really love elephants. I really do adore birthdays.
Although, birthdays have been a struggle for me here. It's funny. They say that when you move to a foreign place there are pieces of yourself you lose. I always thought that was dramatic. But the longer I live here, the more truth I see in the statement. For example. At home, I love throwing parties and giving them themes and finding all of the perfect decor and such to make it sweet and charming and special and memorable. Here. It's so much more challenging and stressful. I don't have Hobby Lobby and Target at my disposal and I honestly don't know where to go to get what I need. I don't know who will be open when or what supplies they will have. And the journey to each place is a hassle in itself.
Add to that. My favorite past time/form of communication...snail mail...is virtually impossible here. The mail system takes forever. I mean. FOREVER. Like I just got a few Christmas cards when I returned from spring break on April 5. And. I have no idea where to even go to buy stamps. Oh how I have missed this piece of myself. It's hard to be inspired also when it's much more rare to stumble upon darling cards and little trinkets to send through the airwaves anyways.
Of course I could totally take the time to adventure and figure out where my party stores and stamp suppliers are and to memorize store hours and bus routes to the postal service....its' just so hard to find the energy to do these sorts of things after I have spent all day with a dozen toddlers.
Sandwiched between birthday parties (that I was throwing) was a lovely Sunday afternoon comida with friends organized by my sweet friend April. April inspires me. She has taught in Korea, Japan, India, Egypt, and now Mexico. Her wardrobe and her personality speaks of each place she has called home. She made us chicken pot pie and there was fresh fruit fresh flowers and fresh, fizzy drinks and we caught up after a long time apart. It may or may not have ended with coffee and chocolate. Every time I think about having a friend named April, it makes me laugh a little bit. Every time someone calls me the wrong name, they almost always call me April. And according to my friend April, she is often mistaken for a Rachel. These things are funny to me.
I recently made the mistake of restarting Breaking Bad on Netflix. It stresses me out more than I can describe, but also I can't stop watching. Mostly because I cannot imagine how they made this last five seasons and I simply must understand how.
I am taking risks. I am being open. I am trying to be as honest with myself and others as I can possibly be. That's hard. But it makes me feel free and light.
Life is a mix of sunshine and blizzards and rat poison, and hot, smelly beans. When it's sunny, soak it all up. So much of it. Carry it with you. And when there are blizzards the sunshine within you will melt them away and find the grass and the flower buds underneath. And I am not really sure what sunshine will do with hot, smelly beans, but I do know that when you are filled with sunshine that you have collected and soaked up and stored along the way, smelly beans and rat poison and scalding hot water will somehow seem brighter and eventually they might even conjure up a smile and a laugh.
Just things I have been thinking about lately.