We often hear people say that there are no second chances, in my experience however, every minute of the day presents us with another opportunity to choose differently. I guess I am getting old enough that I can start to see the major lessons that I must learn and the chances that life offers me to hopefully make better choices.
I've told myself lots of stories that justified why I had rejected my Latin roots so strongly. I'm at a point in my life that I don't believe these stories anymore. I just know that when I got to the US to go to college I felt I had arrived home. I felt accepted and validated; something that for some reason or another I couldn't feel in Venezuela. The longer I lived in the States, the more I felt I belonged there. I'm not very good with directions, so I jokingly used to say that somehow my soul turned left instead of right as it was coming down to this incarnation. I liked that story, but there are no mistakes; and, specially not of that magnitude.
My personality and preferences have always been very Germanic in nature. I've liked to be precise. I like order; and, for many years I only saw a black and white and an either/or world. Today I tend to laugh at these inclinations, but from time to time they still try to take over, especially under heavy stress or when I'm really tired.
In 1992 we moved to South Africa and although I ended up falling in love with this magnificent and magical country and getting in touch with its rhythm, I certainly fought it for many months. Instead of enjoying and marveling at the slower pace of life, I struggled trying to make Africa move at my pace. How absurd is that?
Cuenca is my second, perhaps even my third chance to embrace a culture different than my preferences and my natural tendencies; a pace that will mellow me out even further; to revel in the differences and similarities of our human race, and to learn more compassion, patience, and non-judgement. Some people need to read a book or listen to a lecture to learn a lesson... I need total immersion!
Feeling blessed for second chances!