My simple goals: I would learn to speak Spanish and play the guitar.
I moved to Puerto Vallarta in January of 2019. I had visions of what it would look like living here in Mexico and I looked forward to letting my hectic US schedule unwind from every cell in my body. I arrived completely spent.
Ten months later and neither has happened.
I figured that I’d hire a tutor or take Spanish classes – all of which are plentiful here – but my head was so full! The mere adjustments took up brain cells I had set aside to learn a new language. I seemed to be getting along just fine with speaking English, besides I was helping the Mexicans learn.
I spent the first 6 months just listening to understand – kind of like how we learn our first language. We don’t wait until we go to school – we listen, then mimic. So now I’m in the ‘mimic stage’. It’s going well. No, I can’t hold a conversation or speak complete sentences. I’m learning mostly words and correct pronunciation. But I can communicate to some degree when necessary. The secret here is to practice. You must use your new words every day. Every single day.
Learning the guitar isn’t going nearly as well as my Spanish (which hopefully you’ve picked up on, isn’t going great). I mean, I don’t actually have a guitar. I had no room in my luggage to bring it with me. I don’t plan on leaving PV any time soon, so it will happen – eventually. I certainly didn’t come down here to pile on more things to be done on my To Do list.
I’m rather okay that the things I thought I’d accomplish my first year here aren’t happening. Well, they aren’t happening the way I wanted them to. Sometimes you have to just let it all go when you arrive and feel through what’s gonna stick.
When you’re open to letting things happen you usually end up with a better result. Being forceful about your decisions here doesn’t work in Mexico, Mexico will often remind you that she’s in charge. And now you’re on Mexican time.