cross posted from fabmexicana
She used to tell me “Mija, vete de aqui” to leave from the States for a couple years to college. She tried to connect me with an aunt in Morelia, but then she (my mom) became terminally ill. In my 16 year-old perception she did this to expand my world outside of Los Angeles, she specifically pushed Morelia, Mexico City, and Guadalajara (where I had a distant family member and she was Mexican so yea) for me to want actual wings before getting too established after being in one city for too long and doing the college thing to the eventual j-o-b, a car note, a serious relationship, and/or a baby.
She passed away in between her worldly wisdom and advise to my 16 year-old mind and I became pseudo-momma for younger bro. Leaving to Mexico or anywhere over 20 miles from here only happened in dreams and books.
Then when I had a sliver of opportunity (after college) I fell in love hard (like the kind that Mexican ballads sing about) and had a child (pretty quickly) in my early 20s. That married me to L.A. and separation in my mid 20s with active other parent, sealed my marriage to the city for the long haul. You blend with facts and make the best of your choices and the circumstances that come with the package. So what do have, roots that dig too dip, intimate ties to L.A., a pride that freaks nomadic types and solid relationships in such a grand city and your world narrows to the boundaries of it. That’s most of the world you’ve known.
I leave through words and vicarioulsy by those that do say goodbye and on occasion I do escape for short periods of time. I send her kisses and remember her words, I’ll share them with my nena and with others.
She got it though and so I told my good friend this morning, chica vete (leave) as she contemplates to leave or to stay. Home will always be home. Your roots here can only get stronger. We are nomadic by nature, set roots elsewhere do it while you can.*
I became “mi mama” for a second, she was a wise woman. I cherish my homebody L.A. ways but her words echo in my mind, and so I’ll repeat what she saw as a woman who left Mexico when she was 28, my age, a single woman. She was fierce.
*I understand if this appears condescending and valuing leaving over staying. Things are never black vs. white. Never, neither is this entry. But I take ownership for the slant, any questions please feel free to comment or e-mail me.