As I sit here in the new shiny airport terminal in Barcelona, awaiting my flight to Mexico, I wonder how this all came to be. This was not a planned trip. For starters, I did not have the financial luxury to just take off for five months to a country half way around the world. Secondly, even if I had, Mexico could not have been my chosen destination. South America, perhaps. India, maybe. Cuba, for sure. But Mexico? I had never given it much thought to be honest.
It is true that I was planning on some big change, though I was not sure what that change would be. Beginning in October, I felt an urge to do something drastic. I quit smoking, chopped off all my hair, and had my tonsils removed. But that was not enough!
When my friend in Oaxaca, Mexico, called me out of the blue one day and suggested I apply for a short-term job to cover her position while she goes on maternity leave, it didn’t take long to send in my resume. And I took her phone call as a sign – I had to go to Mexico, with or without the job. I (sadly) quit my teaching job in Barcelona and began to tell people I was leaving, before I even prepared my resume! When there’s a will, there’s a way, right?
Luckily I did get the job. And two weeks later, here I am in the airport waiting for my new Mexican adventure to begin.
I ask myself how and why this is happening? How can such a big change come on so quickly and so easily?
And then it hit me… Lucita Flores is to blame! My Mexican alter-ego is surely responsible for this. As it turns out, I have given Mexico much thought. A whole lot of thought!
It’s no coincidence that an opportunity to go live and work in Mexico has knocked on my door. I owe this specific opportunity to my friend in Oaxaca who offered me the job, but I also think I unwittingly manifested this trip.
Ever since I invented Lucita’s character for the Poetry Brothel, I have been researching Mexican regions, cuisine, slang, and style. And Dia de los Muertos!! For eight months, part of me has worked hard to convince others that I am Mexican, authentically Mexican. No one believes me, of course. My accent is way too Gringo-Catalan to be a true Mexicana, especially with the Castilian lisp. And my red hair and freckles don’t help me much either. But yesterday as I set Lucita’s Facebook status to say “returning to the homeland,” it dawned on me – The Power of Attraction (the Secret, the Universe) is at work once again. I spent so much mental energy on my Mexican character that now the Universe has decided to send me there!
Listen to the uncanny parallels between Lucita and me:
Lucita is from a rural farm in Chiapas. And she is a chef, obsessed with feeding people and making sure they don’t go hungry, as she almost did as a little girl on the farm. And now here I am heading to Oaxaca, the state right next to Chiapas, and will be working with a NGO that promotes the indigenous grain amaranth as a way to improve life in rural communities in Mexico, just like the one Lucita is from! I’m here to help people eat properly!
Perhaps it is a coincidence. If it is – and I quote my friend Miggy who wrote this on our orange kitchen wall all those years ago – then “I recognize and accept meaningful coincidences in my life.”