Ramblings of a Mexican Nature

Just when you think you have an area, a neighborhood, a country defined, it seems to me the perfect place to live is a place that constantly keeps you surprised and interested. Currently, I am intrigued with the people and beautiful situations I find myself within at Mexico City.

Taking in a variety of baseball games this Friday was a luxury in itself. Looking back over a week of struggling, working, and putting in hours to achieve what seemed to be mini goals (it felt like wading through quicksand all week!) – Friday’s simple pleasure of napping, interviewing a few artists for Repentino., (more to interview than I had time!) – napping – then simply escaping to a comfortably private nearby restaurant and viewing the baseball games coming into the World Series, this was Friday I longed for – well for ages. Yet – these simple pleasures were only the beginning.

Wanting to try out an invitingly new establishment known at La Docena in Roma Norte, I finally had my chance. After comfortably falling into relax mode, I wandered out at 10:15 PM to the nearby Oyster Grill/Bar. Immediately, I was welcomed by the manager, and we began talking about my reaction to this newly opened restaurant. Before I knew it, aside from being amazed by dish after dish of DELICIOUS and Delaware-reminding meals, without warning, I became engaged in a conversation with one of the most fascinating women I ever met. Here’s why.

I have found so many people NEEDING to be with someone everywhere they go, be it the need for a person to accompany them to the theatre, to a museum, to a restaurant, for a walk, everywhere. We talked about this anomaly (love that word) and yet discovering things on your own? Discovering people on your own unexpectedly? I admired the independence of this woman and she commented on how to her, it seemed I strode in wanting to take in everything – whether friends were with me or not. Yes we both agreed to something way more attractive than being with someone or searching out someone to be with all the time, was the fact of individuals who remain individuals, instead of trying to visibly shake off that indviduality.

I realized how exciting Mexico is and how fortunate I have been able to meet such a diverse group of friends, while being able to maintain my freedom to go anywhere I want, anytime I want, and meet extraordinary individuals who recognize the doing things on your own? – a privilege and not a stigmatism as is so applied to someone –anyone – doing something alone. What cracked me up was the perception of women, and men, who are by themselves, as she brought up, as being negative. We laughed at all the incidents where people try to cover for their embarrassment of being alone in places when in fact, they should be quite happy! True, she made my night but it is refreshing to see someone of the opposite sex dive headfirst into a conversation topic and be so passionate about it, and then go on to engage someone in how they feel and not try to agree on everything, but remain their own person – what a night.

Looking at this experience, and taking in all in the backdrop, the run for the World Series, Mexico and United States soccer tonight, and having this window of freedom, freedom to take in so incredibly much – on your own time – it is exhilarating. Every day, despite the stress many feel day to day during the work week, (still working on that one!) is a new day, new people and individuals that can lighten your load and make you feel better about each new day. Of course there is the down side that involves people you feel you are obligated to please, which feels like you are churning butter to have a inspirational conversation with, (like it’s work!) – and well, just as in life, you do much better by yourself to remove yourself from complainers, whiners, take for granted-ers, selfish seekers, and on and on and when you surround yourself with individuals that allow you to feel as if you can take on any adventure, any experience, life becomes 100 times better all over.

Relationships are funny, and tricky, and stressful, and exhilarating, and depressing, motivating, uplifting, and so much more, if I could really sit long enough, the experiences and near to death experiences I felt my heart has felt (along with others I am sure) – these scenarios still amaze me that I have come through with some amazing positive aspects at all, and some days/weeks, I certainly don’t – which makes me quite far from being close to being attractive when those days /weeks appear. Yet – the moments you truly soak in that things are going to be okay, when the conversation /ideas flow unconsciously with someone you may know or may not know at all, such experiences only add to the magic of celebrating the great things life has to offer.

It is warming to have some dynamic memories of the eastern shore waves lapping at your back as you submerge in the incoming tide, the smell of salt and the taste of boardwalk fries on your lips – the scent of pine as you corner the cross country course and feel your heartbeat and nothing else, the feel of smiling inside and outside when surrounded by students you make you so optimistic about the future, the intense feeling of happiness with just amazing people, new and familiar by your side, and just having the confidence to choose any given moment to share with others or not anyone at all – life can be absolutely amazing, and it becomes the single, individual, defining moments that linger with us and carry us through those difficult, depressing, and often hard times and weeks.

I feel very fortunate to have been allowed to delve into learning more about myself by being in Mexico City, which I felt I finally was given the gift of being able to have time to do so. To stumble across that random individual who helps bring those feelings and moments out even more – just as the slogan say, that is priceless. Moments as when I found myself in the middle of Saint Louis in 2006 when the Cardinals grabbed the World Series and I wore that very hat tonight – the feeling of being in the middle of a city that treasured such a moment – a gift.  Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 2.32.15 AM

Finding myself in the middle of Chicago when the Black Hawks won the Stanley Cup, I just was amazed taking it all in. Sure, some of the most dynamic moments have been with sports, I always remember being whisked away in a limo as a VERY young age, seeing the Steelers surrounding the casket and mourning the Rooney family when I was in Pittsburgh and even at that young age I knew and was aware of an amazing event. This always stuck with me as what I wanted my city to reprersent, this commitment to family, the community, the people that matter in your life, this attitude of respect.  Couple these memories with the years of friends that gave me something that still remains with me, a joke, a laugh a friendship tested my hard times, and so much more, Mexico City is just the icing on a cake – of a lifetime filled with more treasure than a dragon’s lair in Lord of the Rings, (laughing).

It is amazing what can be revealed from just a relaxed, down to earth, honest conversation over an amazing meal. When I named my section of the blog, Restaurants as a Second Home, I didn’t realize the depth of how iconic every restaurant can be – how symbolic each place can be of something about Mexico or about each of us. Life is a funny thing, but everyday, worth celebrating even in the midst of so many difficult aspects that make life, rewarding.

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About Harry Brake

Employee of ASF in Mexico City, Librarian, Media crazy! :)
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