Have you ever been in love? I have. The feeling was so great, I never wanted it to end. There were days when I was sure I wanted to be with him forever. My parents worried a little bit, concerned that I might want to get married when I hadn’t even graduated from college, but I figured it was alright. Most of my friends from Mexico had long term relationships of at least two years and they were already planning on marriage too. At that time I had been living in Texas for two years, and had just come back from Mexico where I had lived during my adolescent years. I had been moving across the US- Mexican border during my whole life and constantly traveling from Brownsville to Monterrey or vice versa. I kept highly in touch with my Mexican high school friends, and they all of course had a large influence in my life (they still do). I had also made new friends in Brownsville and Austin, and to my opinion they were all so different to my friends from Mexico- but this was all very exciting to me.
I had met him in Austin, he was an American guy. He was very different than I was, and this intrigued me. He wasn’t interested in partying like the rest of the people I met in my university were, and he took me very seriously. He had everything I wanted, but one day I realized that I couldn’t commit quite yet. I felt young and immature. People around me in the new American environment I was placed in made me realize it. I felt like a different person when I was in Austin then when I was in Mexico. This caused some sort of confusion within me at times. I appreciated my serious relationship when I saw the rest of my friends in Mexico with serious relationships as well, but in Austin I saw most my friends single, going out and having fun on their own. I knew at any place that what I had with “my American guy” was real, but I questioned my ability to completely dedicate myself to one person- I did this through the comparison of two lifestyles and cultures. I wondered “If I had stayed in Mexico, would I be married to this great American guy?” The answer would be no. I would’ve never met him in Mexico, but would I have been willing to if it weren’t for the American culture influence over me?
This all happened two years ago, and today I am not married. Today I am in a completely different place. I am sitting on a beach in Thailand while I write this. I am on my own. Sometimes I miss him a lot, and at others I know that this is an experience I would’ve been sad to miss out on. I’ve traveled from home, to France, to Thailand. I’ve met a lot of different people, with different ideas and personalities that have influenced my own. These are experiences that will change my life forever. And when I think of all of this, I think about my Mother, my Aunts, and all the Mexican women that I know. My Mother was married and with a child at my age. She was not able to travel like I have, or see the things that I’ve done. I think about my friends, those who are married now, and I wonder- would they have made different choices if they had met different people? And would it have been for the better or for the worst?
They are still unanswerable questions. Living a life on my own has given me the opportunity to meet many people, but at the same time, sometimes I strongly miss him. I do not of course want to spend the rest of my life on my own, and one day I would like to have a family. But when is it ok to place strong love on a second basis? Committing to someone is an important action- it shows maturity and compassion. These are all traits that human beings should have. And for some reason, I figured that being on my own and discovering new things would develop my ability to commit. I didn’t want to think that I was ready, I wanted to know that I was. I wanted to be able to give everything I had of me to something so important as love.
What do you think about this? Would you be willing to sacrifice your relationship for a personal discovery? Do you consider it worth it? And do you think that the cultural atmosphere in which you were raised has shaped your point of view on this?