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Hello again, everyone! I’m a bit ahead of schedule, but I know that if I don’t update now, before I know it, it will be after Christmas, and I’ll be slacking! The last three weeks have been eventful, and emotions have been bouncing all over the spectrum. We will start with the bad and end with the good because there is so much more of it!

Remember how my last blog post ended? If not, let me refresh your memory: feeling empowered, life is good, etc. Well, the very next day, I was sitting at my kitchen table watching Criminal Minds of all things having just finished dinner when there was a knock on my door. Now, we have a gated entrance to our building that is usually kept locked, and I leave my apartment door unlocked so that my friends can come visit whenever they want. I, assuming this was a neighbor friend coming to visit, didn’t even move from my spot and just called out, “Come in” like some special kind of idiot. Long story short, the man who walked through my door was not one of my trusted friends, but someone who stole my sense of security…and I later discovered, my purse.

That night, I was even more grateful for my Torreon friends than I ever have been. They took care of everything for me from handling the police, guarding the gate, making me brownies and tea, letting me sleep over, and all around making me feel safe. It is also amazing to me that when bad things happen to me, there are always people who speak comfort into my life. One of my wonderful mentors and loved friends hugged me the day after and said something to the effect that God must have a special plan for me since I have had so many things happen to me the last few months. Those words gave me peace and have stayed with me ever since.

It was a scary experience, but it could have been so much worse than it was. Since then, we have taken extra precautions to lock our gates and our doors. I hesitated to share this story because I know of so many people who were nervous about me coming to Mexico in the first place, and I didn’t want to give their fears a foundation and make them worry even more. However, my commitment is to share the truth about my experience without sugar coating or editing. This was the low point of Mexico for me, but I know better than to generalize the behavior of one individual and apply it to everyone. Yes, this man was awful, but I have met many wonderful people who have done such kind and generous things for me having hardly known me at all. Being on the other side of this experience has given me a new gratitude for my friends and my faith that calmed many an anxious moment. By the way, can I mention the song “Shoulders” by For King and Country for the 100th time? Seriously, if you haven’t given it a listen yet, put it on your list of things to do. It will be well worth the four minutes of your life.

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That experience aside, the past few weeks have been wonderful! We celebrated Thanksgiving at the boss’s house two weeks ago, and I hosted a Midwestern style Friendsgiving at my place a week ago right before we all dashed off to our vacation destinations.

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Speaking of vacation destinations, I would highly recommend San Cristobal in Chiapas if you are ever looking for a vacation spot in Mexico. It was an incredible experience! We spent six days there before coming home, and it was the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation. I spent Thanksgiving wandering through the center of the city and feeling amazed and grateful for all of the blessings in my life. I think spending a Thanksgiving away from home caused me to recognize my blessings in a way I hadn’t been able to while at home on previous holidays. At home, there are always so many other things to think about–turkey, mashed potatoes, pie! This year even the little things like blue sky, fresh air, and the brief moments I was able to talk to my family were beautiful in a way that’s difficult to describe. I think San Cristobal gave me a fresh appreciation of my life and the people in it.

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This last week of vacation was exactly what I needed to energize for the next few weeks of school. I will be arriving at home almost exactly three weeks from the moment of this publication, and I am over the moon excited to see all of my friends and family that have been in my thoughts for the past four months. I love you all so very much and am very appreciative of the time you take to read my blog and keep up with my life. While I’m home, I would love to meet up and hear about what’s been happening in your life while I’ve been gone. Can’t wait!

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