The Expectations of Others


I was motivated to write the following poem after one too many exchanges with others in situations similar to my own in which it was implied or outright stated that I am a traitor to others like me because I have no motivation at this time to return to a life in the US.  It isn’t all that often that I am told things along these lines, but it is still too often for my taste.  The point at which I was offended by the statements and implications was reached, and I felt the need to express my feelings on the matter: statements and implications such as I lack a sense of hopefulness, I am betraying my cause, or even that I am aiding those who are anti-immigration.

When I married my husband, I did not sign up to live my life as a political symbol.  On that day, I made a promise to myself and to Salvador that we would live the best life for us; right now, that best life appears to be in Mexico, and I have no interest in fighting it.


I am not unhappy,

nor am I a martyr,

nor am I the mouthpiece for a cause.

I am not a symbol,

and living the life I want

does not betray others like me.

I am not a puppet

to either side of the argument,

nor do I live life tallying the points.

I am living the life I want to live,

even if it is not the one I had planned,

and I owe nothing to you.


10 responses »

  1. That is just wonderful! I agree, as always, 100%. I told you that at first I was upset by it all. But, then I realized we were just moving. That was all. That is something that people do everyday. It wasn’t the end of the world.

    And, who wants to spend their time fighting things. Life is too short. I can’t believe people are trying to bully you. One reason why I follow your blog verses others is because you don’t hound on the fact and that you accept it.

    I don’t like the blogs that the person is always so negative. It is hard to swallow all their posts. I recognize things with the immigration system need to change, but it will in due time. That is inevitable. So, until that happens, I will live my life with my husband no matter where he is.

    Keep your chin up!

    • Thanks, Val. It isn’t more than a handful of individuals who have made me feel this way, but it was enough to get me riled. I don’t like the idea that belonging to a group means giving up my individuality. Some people are unhappy with living in Mexico, and I do not begrudge them that–it isn’t for everyone. I may get there and discover I hate it, though I am doubtful that will be the case. However, I don’t like my dreams being labeled as less-than because they do not include the US and do not involve me fighting to change the system. There are so many people out there who view my relationship as less-than, my love as less-than, and my personal worth as less-than because I married the man I married. To practice the same division within our own community is foolish and does more to set us back than my choosing not to fight for my right to live in the US with my husband.

  2. Different situations for different folks. I had been to Mexico City many times before I took the job teaching in Reynosa. I love Mexico City but I’m no so fond of Reynosa. And it is different when you face daily challenges of living in Mexico than just visiting. After the honeymoon phase of living in Mexico is over and you still love it, then you’ll know your decision was correct. No one will be able to tell you anything different!

    • I agree very much. I really think that I will love living in Pachuca, but I am also not arrogant enough to say that I will for certain. If I have learned anything over the last few years it is that there is no point in thinking about the future in certain terms; too many times my plans have been changed because of things I did not expect.

      I always hear that the first six months of being in a new country are the worst, and I expect it to be true. My Spanish isn’t that great, so the first time I have to go shopping on my own will be terrifying. I’ll get angry when the vendors overcharge me for being a gringa. People cutting in line and other perceived rudeness will leave me steaming. Dealing with the paper work and wait times for every little thing will grate my nerves. Loud parties, late night construction, and aggressive street vendors/beggars will anger me. I’m not certain how much of a honeymoon I am going to have, lol! At the same time, the city in general is safe, more affordable than most in Mexico, has a stable temperature, is walkable, I will have work to keep me busy, I will be working with and living near English speakers to help with the adjustment, and I live in a privada, so I think that fewer adjustments will need to be made than for most.

  3. You’re right, you are NOT a traitor. But you are also NOT the ONLY one that receives the sentiments you have. We are no longer living in our pueblo in Mexico, but make it very clear our intentions to return are strong and determined. We do not have an international marriage, but still get the grief from others about our determination to return. Be strong! And know you are not alone. Thank you for blogging…it is a welcome reminder of others’ life choices.

  4. We have absolutely no chance of living together legally in the US ever. It’s not going to happen even when/if immigration reform happens. I don’t waste time hoping for something I’ll never have. I don’t think you’re a traitor by accepting your situation and getting on with your life the best way you can.

  5. I´ve been living in Cuernavaca for 3 years now, and I still get the same crap from certain people when i go home. I agree with your sentiments 100% and i´m glad I found your blog! I love my life and husband down here, and now we have a beautiful baby girl too! I just want to live my life happily here!

    • Thank you for commenting; I hope I have a new follower in you!

      It is good to hear from others who either wish to stay or at least do not approach life in Mexico as a prison sentence.

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