I was born in Mexico City. I spent my entire life there until I moved to the U.S. in 1999, when My Life In The USA: Part 2 began. I traveled along the California west coast, from Los Angeles to San Francisco, jumped to Juneau, Alaska, and then celebrated the New Millennium in Atlanta, Georgia.
I was in Austin, Texas when the tragedy of 9-11-01 hit. I suffered the immigration restrictions directly resulting from it when my family was unable to attend my wedding, almost one year after the tragedy, or my graduation from the University of Texas in 2002. My mom and younger brother finally came to visit three months after I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in September 2003.
As a foreigner, I had no choice but to experience that feeling of “dislocation” known as culture shock: four long lasting and painful stages caused by unfamiliarity with the new country. 1. Excitement (the new country is awesome). 2. Problems (the new country is not that terrific). 3. Recovery (the new country is hopeful). 4. Stability (the new country feels like home).
In the beginning, that dislocating feeling got me in trouble with the new language. But after three years of practice, I became more fluent in English (or so I believe) despite –or due to—that difficult journey through the culture shock stages.
The first two years in the U.S. were very hard. I experienced fear, frustration, anger, or disappointment most of the time (stage 2). But the third year was much better. I felt happier and excited even doing small things like buying groceries (stage 3). Without thinking of it, during the third year I started to develop a positive attitude, and even felt homesick (!!!) when away from Austin (stage 4). Now, after more than 15 years of living in Austin, I even feel like a true Austinite.
I was seeking adventure and a graduate degree in a U.S. university when I came to the United States. I got a degree –in a very exciting field: journalism. I found a dear husband, close friends and interesting jobs (one of them in the most amazing library specializing in Latin America). And also had my first child–the most wonderful daughter I could ever dream of. What else could I ask for?
My Life In Mexico: Part 1 stayed behind in Mexico, a lovely and intriguing country where I have been truly happy as a child and teenager. I look forward to spending My Life: Part 4 there when I retire. But before that, let’s you and I travel the world and transform our lives in this unique Part 3.