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Federales y Forward

“It’s a wonderful world. You can’t go backwards. You’re always moving forward. It’s the wonderful part about life. And that’s terrific.”
– Harvey Fierstein 

casagarage

The big casa to the left? No, the little dark one to the right. Oh…

Six in four. That’s how many times I have moved and in how few months. It may seem agonizing for some, but with dos maletas, a few kitchen items, and a large winter coat I may never wear again, my life (and location) just keeps getting better.  In February I arrived in Puerto Vallarta in a hurry, accepting a teaching position that has so far been nothing short of fantastic (with a few challenges thrown in just to make sure I’m paying attention).

tortilleria

Small stacks here, warm and fresh, less than $1 US Dollar

My first month here I moved into “whatever I could find in a weekend, close to work and inexpensive,” which was in fact a converted garage (I can see my parents cringing now). This narrow, dark, concrete and tile abode wasn’t horrific, but it wasn’t a place to call home either. In fact, the thought of returning there in the afternoons depressed me slightly, and I found myself wandering around the neighborhood (Los Sauces) and frequenting the Tortilerias to stay busy.

union

mis vecinos, el Unico de Trabajos Auto Trans Conexo

About a week before I decided my time as a garage-dweller was overdue, the local taxi driver’s union adjacent to the casagarage (what else do you call it?) had a huge meeting, complete with important leaders and speakers. I thought there was a dog fight or other “activity” going on, as the street filled to the edges: giant trucks, bright yellow taxis and work-uniformed men (with very few women).

taxidrivers

Gathering outside before the dog fight meeting starts

The real shock came when I looked outside my door to see a fit Policía Federale guard in his uniform, holding a large weapon. “Sssst!” I whispered from the door, “Disculpe, ¿está todo bien?” The guard must have seen the fear in my eyes, and quickly explained the meeting and important figures (who occasionally receive threats).

guard

Handsome…and ready to protect the Guera

He then added that he would stay by my door until the meeting was over, if it made me feel safe. As noted during my trip to Zacatecas, these men in uniform: polite, firm and protective, me gusta mucha. However, seguro or not, this event was just what I needed to make me start changing things.

casacollageedit

Visioning®: making this life happen, one collage at a time

As mentioned before, whenever I feel stuck or need direction, I turn to the method of Visioning® to change my life: focusing on the desired outcome, picturing it happening, waiting patiently for signs that it is on its way until, poco y poco, the “miracle” arrives. Often, I find myself in awe when the dream begins to reveal itself. This particular change happened miraculously fast, which means to me that it must have been more needed than I realized.

gardencrop

Lucky for me (and the plants), I don’t maintain any of the neighborhood greens

Within two weeks after beginning the Vision®, I have moved into a sunlit apartment. Though the trek through my neighborhood requires stepping on uneven concrete (and, at times, cobblestone), when I see the Bahia de Banderas and notice the little iguanas peeping out, I am grateful for the days ahead. I have amenities like an indoor shower and warm water (not being sarcastic). As I write lessons to the light of an orange Méxican sunset and the sound of my neighbors’ hijos playing outdoors, I give thanks for the happiness around me now.

sunsetcrop

Buenas tardes, México, te amo mucho

A few friends already know about my recent move and have asked about the best time to visit (I’m now taking reservations for April 2013). One of them asked me sincerely but casually, “Kate Dana, how is that you are so lucky?” To which I answered “I’m not, really… not anymore than anyone else. But I am a believer that we make our own luck.” (This is a bit of a quote-steal from Ernest Hemingway to his son Gig, though I don’t prefer the second half).

sunset

Gracias a Dios por mi vida buena: cool sands and warm sun

After further thought, I’m adding to my answer, “luck is also another form of asking, believing and receiving.” Anyone can change the direction of their current life. Even if it takes an armed Federale stationed at the door to get things moving.

Author: Kate Dana

Teacher, traveler and writer living on the Caribbean coast of South America.

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