By Cristina Hormigos

“There are hurricanes and earthquakes and…,” said my dad.
“Dad, I am going! I got my scholarship and this is an incredible opportunity for me.” I replied.
“But the drug trafficking kills so many people and what about femicides, Cris?” He answered.
“It’s okay dad, everything is going to be okay and nothing bad will happen.” I promised.
“Remember Amador, If your daughter tells you she is going to jump off a bridge, just pray the bridge is low.” Says my mom to my dad.
“So, do you support me, mom?” I ask.
“Yes, of course! I know you have to fly. I never thought that you would stay here and have a “common” lifestyle.” Replied my mom.
And on the 20th of July 2018 my experience started, and here I am three years later writing this blog. I never imagined this is where my journey would take me.
So let’s start at the beginning. During my long trip on the airplane I was thinking about Mexico and reflecting on a previous idea of what I thought it would be like; that is, the country and its people. Which led me to think about everything that my father had told me related to the dangers in this country, however I was feeling both fearless and excited.
Five months later, new people and some cities after, thank God, nothing bad had happened to me but what I learnt. This experience definitely made me become a new person. After this I decided to tattoo the word “dream” in the main native language of Mexico, Nahuatl, as a result of what I lived these past months, “a dream.” Currently I live here, far away from my family, my culture and my comfort zone, but not everything is as perfect as it seemed three years ago.
I will call this chapter of my life: My personal and emotional growth; and one year ago, here in México, I started my journey. Living far away from home and making another country your new home is a huge challenge, especially keeping in mind that sometimes people are used to being saved by their families when they have a problem, and that was obviously my case. For so many years, when I had a problem my mom was always there for me. She is the most important person in my life and has always made my life better and easier.
Take these examples;
Problem: I didn’t have anything to eat.
Solution: My mom made me something.
Problem: I had an issue with money.
Solution: My mom gave me some.
Problem: I had a personal crisis.
Solution: My mom was there with the best advice (and luckily she still is).
Nevertheless, although she tries to help me in the same way, nowadays she is not here with me physically and that is still hard, but it has made me learn so much.
In life, we are born alone and we die alone. We always have to deal with ourselves and try to act in accordance with what we think and with our values. However, historically, judging has been one of people’s favorite activities, and they can sometimes live their whole lives comparing themselves with the rest of the world and living other people’s lives more than their own life. After three years of traveling to Mexico and the last year of living here, something that has become really important for me is my own emotional stability, in which I have learned that I need to think more about myself, and about what makes me happy and what doesn´t. From that moment on, I learnt how to say no when I didn’t like something, how to instrospect and know exactly what my necessities are. Necessity of time for me, of time for my family, of time for working or just the necessity of not pressuring myself to do something.
On the other hand, no one said that we are totally alone. Of course we have people around us all the time, they accompany us, but not our thoughts. Our mind determines our thoughts. We NEED to work on that, to work on what we think and why we think this at the moment. We spend a lot of time thinking about our work life and how to grow in our jobs. Sometimes we do the same with our families, not always, but in some cases we try to spend more time with our families, make our partner happy or think about what our children or family need. But we don’t actually spend time thinking about the most important thing: ourselves. My feelings, my emotional stability and my thoughts are what I have with me every day and what I´m going to have with me my whole life, independent of what person I´ll be with or what job I will have. We must invest in this, as much time as we can. Take our time to know ourselves, to know what we think, what our feelings are in a situation and why we have THESE specific feelings.
Based on this life changing experience I would suggest the following things that have definitely played a huge role in my emotional growth. Start meditating, buy an emotional intelligence or personal growth book, give yourself an hour to have breakfast with your feelings every morning, take your time and little by little get to know yourself in your life in every single moment.
When I understood all these things that I continue to put into practice daily, I started to actually live what I had tattooed on my foot three years ago in Nahuatl: gochistle.