Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cartoon 9: I've discovered that I'm a chameleon!

Now I'm in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas and we are going to be here for a couple months working on a project called 'Fronterizos' which I'll tell you more about later.  Being in one place for a minute has given me the opportunity to self reflect a little and with this cartoon I hope to share part of what I've been thinking about personally. I really have no idea how to explain it but here goes nothing...

             Basically, I am discovering that things about me, unchangeable things about my identity that make me me, are totally changeable. Come to find out they are results of my environment.  This is true for so many things that I never would have expected. From my physical characteristics to my socioeconomic status to my tastes! For instance, while in Limonar, my hair, which is usually straight as the line between you and the baƱo when you gotta go poo, was super curly all the time because there was so much humidity in the air. So I got to thinking, if I had grown up in Limonar, I would describe myself as someone with curly hair. If I were to close my eyes, I would picture myself with curly hair.   When I lived in Mexico City, my skin constantly broke out because of the pollution in the air.  So, if I lived in Mexico City I would be a person with acne. 
            In the US, I have brown hair.   Here in Mexico, I am considered blonde because most people have black hair so everyone who has light hair goes into the category of blonde.  But my hair hasn't changed colors! Only the lips that are describing me have changed. Whoa. That's deep... jaja (in Spanish the sound of laughter 'haha' is written 'jaja')
            I was in New York during the gluten-free phase (is that still happening?) so I converted to spelt bread to try out the wheat free thing and I loved it! I almost never ate wheat, feeling that it made me tired and that I didn't digest it well.  In Mexico, with less access to vegetarian food, wheat bread has become a super important part of my diet and I crave it and I feel that it gives me strength. 
           But physical traits and food preferences are on the surface and don't really have that much effect one way or the other.  What about something like socioeconomic status? I have always understood myself to be middle class. But outside of the US, compared to the rest of the world, I have pretty much always been in the top 10% of earners.  When I was in Limonar I saw that I am so rich that it is almost silly to consider saving money by not buying myself a chocolate bar although it would make me very happy in the moment.  Or consider not giving 5 pesos to a street performer that makes me laugh.  Yet so much of my past has been dedicated to securing my future because as a member of the middle class our job is to work hard for the security of our retirement and an inheritance for our kids.  These middle class values have guided so many decisions in my life. If I had thought that I was rich I wonder how I would have lived differently...
             Basically, I am seeing that the definitions that I have of myself shape my life. The environments that I frequent turn me into the person I am, from my temperament, or most common emotional state, to my physical characteristics.  I think about how each of my jobs have made me as a person. It makes me thankful that I have the opportunity to choose my job and where I live.  And makes me want to choose really really wisely...


  1. hey sara!.. im not sure if you remember but im your number 1000 email!.. i met you in NY, and if you remember I do aerial hoop too=) showed me a video on youtube. Anyway, I went to Chiapas this summer! it was amazing!.. we visited San cristobal de las casas, Mediria, Palenque, and of course the Selva lacandona, and many other places. I loved it and me and my family stayed there for about 3 weeks.
    I just wanted to let you know that I feel so connected with what you are doing. Good luck to you all!
    thanks for sharing your thoughts with us=)

    Irela casanova

  2. Irela! Yes I remember! R u still doing aerial? Thats so cool that you went to Chiapas, and thank you for letting me know that you are with us and me on the trip! Hearing from you gives me such a huge smile on my face :)

  3. yes!! im still doing aerial! i love it and im getting better at it now! i want to perform soon!..but we'll see how everything works so happy for your performance "des hacedores de fronteras"..the best of lucks Sara!!

  4. Thank you so much girl! You have to put a video up on youtube when you have an aerial routine ready so I can see you dance :) xo!