I wasn’t keen (to put it mildly) on moving to El Paso. And when I got here? I wasn’t wild about spending the next 2-3 years here. It was a shock. A rude, dry, slap-you-in-the-face-with-the-107-heat kind of awakening that made me cry for Colorado in the hotel bed with sheets that matched the curtains. I hated every minute of it and wanted nothing more than to pack up, head for the land of trees, clouds and NotMexico and never come back.
So I bitched about it on here. On and off. Trying to find my center again. Trying to write through my terror, homesickness and culture shock.
Slowly, I’ve opened my eyes to what it has to offer. I’ve started to accept this is my home, and I don’t have a choice so I had better make the very best of it.
While doing so, I’m noticing something. When someone smirked about El Paso before, I tended to agree. Yes. It was a hole. It was a mess. I didn’t realize anyone could want to live here. The bad parts? Are really, really bad. It’s hotter than the sun. I almost live in Mexico.
But now? Now I find myself bristling. Wanting to defend it. Seeing where they are coming from (after all, it was I who brought all it’s faults to everyone’s attention) but also knowing that I’ve done my best to find the bright side. I think I have, and I’ve done it genuinely.
It’s like when you’re in school and you talk crap about your parents. How mean they are, how their curfews suck, how you know they are planning to send you to a convent in the Swiss Alps the next time you glance at the hot guy in church. This is ok. It’s fine. You know you love them.
Then someone joins in. “Yeah, your parents are freaks.”
And you turn ever so slowly with a deadly look in your eye that threatens to destroy them should they dare to say one.more.thing. This is unacceptable. How dare they talk about your parents – the salt of the Earth, the very people who would (through their blinding tears) send you to a convent to keep you away from the hot guy in church known to be a player – no matter the cost to them?
Because I can say it. They’re mine – but you can’t. Because they’re not yours.
And El Paso? Is becoming the same way. It’s mine. I live here. I can complain about it because I deal with it. And once I’m done, I stand on my porch and watch the sun set, the sky burst into color, see the storm clouds roll in – and I make amends because, after all, I didn’t mean what I said. Not really.
It’s a part of me. It’s going to help raise my child and shape me as a mother and wife. It will forever be a part of our family and marriage. Our memories.
So I may have to throat punch anyone who talks smack about it.
Unless you live here. Then we’ll commiserate and love it together.