Please don’t cry. We knew this was coming and chose to ignore it, like a big stinky elephant in the corner of the room polluting the air.
I want you to know that I’ve never felt this way about anyone before – I’ve never been as hesitant to leave a place as I am now, and I’ve been a lot of places, so that says a lot.
Sorry…that probably doesn’t make it easier. I’m not really one of those people who can let go easily; I always want to believe that long-distance relationships can work: that the ardor that I feel won’t fade. In fact, I think I’m probably a little too good at telling myself these things, because I’m always the one who doesn’t want it to end, while I am inevitably the one who has the plane ticket to leave.
What can I say? I’m a contradiction in terms. There’s something different this time, though. This time, my want to stay is just as powerful as my want to go. Before, I always knew that what I was working toward was important enough to leave for, but now I feel that what’s most important to me is both there and here, with you. It’s a new feeling for me and I don’t quite know what to do with it.
A friend told me once that people are put in your life for a reason, and whatever that reason is it’s important, regardless of how long they’re in your life to convey it. I tend to want them to stay far past the point when they’ve delivered their message, but I feel that there is more that you have yet to give me. This is incredible to me, Mexico, because you’ve already taught me so much!
When I got here, I was angry and didn’t know it. I was constantly thinking about others and wishing that they could see what I see. I wanted to change the world but I didn’t know how to go about it without having to tell others what to do. Much like you and your waves on the beach outside my room at night, you ate away at those ideas and gave me peace of mind that I never knew could exist.
I came here looking for something and not expecting to find it – after all, I’ve been a sort of traveling slut for more than 10 years now – smothering a place with my affections, being knocked down by my expectations, and picking up and moving on, bitter and disillusioned.
Perhaps that’s why it was different this time. I think perhaps I had finally let some of my expectations go – I wasn’t expecting to find a home, so I wasn’t guarding against the idea.
Can I tell you something I’ve never told anyone, Mexico? When people ask me where I’m from, I’ve never been able to tell them that I’m from whatever city, town, country or region that I’m actually living in. Considering I’ve stayed in some places for more than a year, it’s gotten a little ridiculous. Instead, I always tell whoever’s asking that I’m from North Central Washington: Chelan. I guess it’s the only place that’s ever really felt like home to me, even when my parents briefly moved away and there wasn’t actually a home there…until now. Somehow you wormed your way into my loyalty and for the first time in my life I’ve told people who ask that I’m living in Puerto Escondido for the summer. This may seem small, but any other time of my life I would have said something like, “I’m from Washington State, but I’m here for a couple weeks,” or whatever. I know, I know. I’m not Mexican, I’m merely passing through a town that everybody passes through, but somehow you’ve latched onto me and I consider this place more a home to me than any other place I’ve lived besides Chelan.
But besides giving me a home, you’ve also given me some great memories, and some amazing friends! Who knew that so many people that I could connect with would live in this small town on the ocean? Believe me, I’ve lived a lot of places (I know, I’m rubbing it in your face and I’m sorry, but it’s true, and it’s only so you know how special you are to me in comparison) and I’ve never felt the same sort of dynamic.
I have to go, but I’m desperately hoping that you won’t forget me while I’m gone. You see, this feels unfinished in a way that most chapters of my life have never felt, and I think I will come back to see it through. You’re under my skin, Mexico, and I’m not just talking about the new tan I’m taking home that you gave me one walk on the beach at a time.
I’ve always thought that I would end up with someone who was a friend first, and I think that’s how you got me. I always knew that I liked you, but I never knew how much until you started showing me all you had to offer. If you’d overloaded me all at once, I might have shied away and probably run – I can’t claim to always be emotionally mature or secure – but you didn’t. You were patient, you were kind, and you never gave me more than I could handle. Thank you for that.
So now, I need you to be patient once again. I’m going to go home – yes, it is still my home – and I’m going to jump back into my life. I’m going to see all my friends that I missed, even while I was enjoying your company – they come as part of the package; if you want me you’ll have to get used to it – and for the first time in my life, I’m going to admit that I don’t know if my love for you will last. I already have a lot lined up to keep me busy and distracted when I get back – it wouldn’t do either of us any good if I sat around and moped for you – but I know I’ll be thinking about you a lot.
So it’s time to go, Mexico, but let’s not say goodbye just yet. Let’s start with “see ya later” and see where that takes us.
Love and heartache kisses