Year 10.

Cynthia 4394

pc: Retrospect Photography 

This year marks the 10th anniversary of us moving to Canada and also our 10th wedding anniversary. Little did I know how transformative these years would be and that it would require for me to hit the brakes to find myself.

The past few months have been tough on me.  I found myself having a little bit of identity crisis. It hit me from every side, emotionally, professionally, spiritually. It’s a weird feeling of not really knowing where do you fit in or how do you fit in. It’s a constant feeling of not really knowing how to define myself.

So, after a few months of therapy, countless sleepless nights and a few tequilas, I have decided to take you into this ride with me.

 

 

Advertisements

Morena Mia

Morena Mia

It’s funny how your perspective of certain things can change so much when you are exposed to a different culture.

Growing up I used to hate my skin color. Out of my brothers and me, I was the one with the darkest skin. My little brother was born with light brown hair and white skin, and my middle brother has light brown skin.

Here is the proof. We don’t even look like sibilings hehehe
DSC01910

In Mexico, any Guerito (white skin) is kind of exotic. People love blond babies and people with green or blue eyes. I remember that quite a few times people wouldn’t believe that my little brother and I were siblings.

Then we moved to Canada. Where is almost a privilege to have brown skin and not look like a ghost during winter. People kept telling me how beautiful my skin color was. Couple of years after our baby Fernando was born. We kept getting compliments about how lovely it was that he had such a dark black hair, his dark eyes and his little brown skin. It was until then that I realized that in a land of mainly white people, dark skin is really appreciated.

Now I embrace my skin color like you have no idea! I love having brown skin and that I don’t need tanning lotion to have colour on my skin.

I am so thankful I had the opportunity to move to a different country that made me embrace my culture, my ethnic, my race!

ps. I never get offended to get called The Mexican, Morena, Prieta, or any denomination related to race, skin colour, etc. So feel free to use them with me 🙂

For the love of Mexico – Part 2

One of the things that I find fascinating is how warm cultures tend to use vivid colours for clothing,  furniture, houses etc. The cold weather cultures are usually more into the neutral colors.

There are a few exceptions to this. Like the lovely New Foundland and Labrador here in Canada. Maybe that is why I am so attracted to one day take a trip there.

Anyways,  Mexican streets and houses are full of colours. Here is a little taste of it.

 

Little tradicional tradicional dolls

mexico-103

The streets of Guanajuato
mexico-98

Art piece from Ciudad Victoria
mexico-27

Market at San Miguel de Allende
mexico-100

This mirror! Oh how I wish I could bring it to Canada
mexico-69

Tableware at Chichen Itza
mexico-45

1826 days later

banner

17 years together. 5 years of marriage. 1826 days. 5 different addresses and counting. 1 beautiful son. So many adventures, so many places and so many things shared. Where else does this adventure will take us? The best still to come!

1828 days ago I was still dreaming of the wedding that I always had in mind.

Back in November 2007 Cesar proposed to me. At that point we were tired of living in separate cities for most of our relationship and we were determined to find a way to end up living in the same city. We set the wedding day for November 8th, 2008. We thought a whole year would give us the chance to figure out a way to get Cesar a job and working visa for the States (cause I was already there working and studying).

In February 2008 Cesar got a job offer, in Canada. Saskatchewan. Saskatoon?? Could you repeat that again please? Are you sure that is in Canada?

So Cesar comes to me and propose that we move to Canada for a year to try it. It was a way for the two of us to be in the same city and maybe if we liked it we  would decide to move permanently to Canada. So I said: Why not?

We started the paperwork and decided that it would be better if we got married before starting the whole Canada adventure. Since we were short on time, we decided to have a super small wedding ceremony, with just our parents, brothers and their significant others. I remember my dad telling me we should just rush everything and have the big wedding we were planning for November 2008. I was sure we were going to have the chance to go back home in November and have my dream wedding. I was not willing to do a rushed wedding. Little did I know, I should have listened to my dad.

We got married in March 16, 2008. Cesar jumped on a plane to Canada in June 8, 2008 (my birthday) and I stayed in Texas for a few more months to finish my second degree and came to Canada in September that same year.

A few months after Cesar got to Canada we found out that for several reasons we were not able to go back home for the wedding we were planning. So I started making phone calls to cancel the bookings that we had. We put everything on hold. Later that year, we completely canceled our wedding celebration.

To be quite honest, I was devastated at the beginning. I went and chopped off my long hair that I was growing for the wedding, deleted all the wedding files in my computer, and asked my mom to not asked me anything about it. I was freaking mad at not listening to my dad. I should have rushed everything and had the whole family and friends celebrating our marriage with us.

As the years passed by, I came to understand that a real marriage is not represented by a big party, fancy dresses and flowers. Not that I don’t like weddings, I love them. But I have come to the understanding that different circumstances happen and that the important things in a marriage are not always tangible things. We had our little wedding with the most important people present. Our family and God, and that is all we needed.

After 5 years of marriage, I am more in love with my husband than I was the day that we got married.We have been so blessed. There has been ups and downs (thankfully way more ups than downs). We have a commitment with each other and every day we try our best to fall more in love.

I now have a different dream, to celebrate our 10th Anniversary back at home with a party at the beach!
photo(17)

580458_10151307787411577_483282989_n

For the love of Mexico – Part One

Sometimes I have my identity crisis moments. Lately, they are quite often, even when I don’t say anything.

When you have been away from your country for so long, you start forgetting simple and quotidian events that happen back home.

I get worried that I already forgot how the street of Mexico sound, how they smell, what does it feel to feel the 40 Celsius degrees wind on your face, what does real street tacos taste.

So, since I don’t know when we will be back in Mexico. I started digging into my photos. I found a treasure. It made me happy that somehow what I thought I didn’t appreciate when I was back home, I actually did. The proof, the hundred of photos I took.

Here I share some of my favorites. Almost all of them, simple daily events that give life to Mexico

 

Ladies selling jewelry on the streets of  Guanajuato

mexico-79

Don Gabriel, el señor de las nieves. Selling ice cream on the streets of Dolores Hidalgo. Thanks to this photo and a post on Pinterest now I am desperately wanting Roses and Almonds Popsicles
mexico-68

Las Espiripapas. Deep fry potatoes, always accompanied with Salsa Valentina

mexico-56

La Dulceria La Catrina in Guanajuato. Best traditional candy store in Guanajuato
mexico-106

Las Flores. In Mexico it is very common that you buy flowers on the street. You can only imagine the awesome smell of the streets full of flowers.
mexico-102

Changing perspectives

 

ImageI have been craving for Mexican folklore lately. I can spend hours browsing the web researching and reading about Mexico. I try to stay away from all the horrible news, and look more into finding Mexican talent, traditional cuisine, and everything in between.

Today, I found somebody that described exactly what I would like to be able to portrait about Mexico. Reading http://mexicoretold.com/ I came across the description of her blog and why she named it Mexico Retold, and it couldn’t be more perfect.

“This website comes out of a profound love of a country and a sadness about how it is currently portrayed in the world’s media. Don’t get me wrong, there are some truly horrendous things happening in Mexico,  and some deeply complex problems, but this blog is about celebrating the side of Mexico that we never hear about.  The Mexico full of compassionate, expressive people. The Mexico bursting with flavour and temptations for all the senses. The Mexico that gets into your soul and never leaves” – Mexico Retold

It made me realize that I concentrate too much on the bad things happening back at home, instead of passing off the amazing cultural richness that we have.

Oh how I miss my country

The social network

Facebook, twitter, and Instagram are 3 apps that I would check on a daily basis and more than once a day. Facebook is my main contact with family and friends back at home, twitter keeps me up with news, and Instagram is my main way to follow designers, photographers, and some friends.
Even when Facebook privacy policies are not really private, I usually don’t feel concerned about the privacy of my photos, info, etc.
This last week I received an email from one of my cousins back at home. Not good news. A common friend of the family was kidnapped for a few days. Luckily he is back home. His family had to sell their vehicles, borrow money, and mortgage their house to pay for his ransom. The kidnappers told him that they got all of his info from Facebook. They gave him a lot of details of how they traced him down.
In his email my cousin also mentioned to me that in our province back at home, facebook has become a weapon that the cartels use to decide who is a good target to kidnap.
So after reading that I started my little investigation. It was so sad to find out that people now uses code words to refer to risky situations in the town, to refer to the cartels and drug dealers, and that most people use twitter with a fake name to keep track of where is safe in he city and to trace their route to work. School, etc to avoid as much as possible to end up in the middle of a shooting or persecution.
Tears came to my eyes. How on earth this whole issue has got to this point? When did my hometown lost it freedom? When will this come to an end?
So now, my Facebook does not list any of my relatives as relatives (except for my husband), we won’t be tagging the family anymore in our photos, and we will try to avoid the linking of them to us as much as possible. The criminals have gone to crazy extremes, and I fear that they would consider the fact that our family has relatives in Canada mean that they have tons of money.
You might ask why we don’t shut down Facebook. I have been considering it, but I feel I can’t. Facebook is my only way to keep up with what happens back at home. I am already at the point where I feel I am loosing contact with a lot of my relatives, and I just can’t see loosing the Facebook contact.
It just feel wrong to feel so safe in Canada, while my heart hurts every night praying for our families to be safe. Please pray that this will have and end soon