Notes from a Mexican Rooftop

notes from a mexican rooftop

The humid air enveloped me as I stood on the rooftop of my new apartment. It was a welcome respite after San Francisco’s cool chill that left me full of love but unprotected from the needlelike cold.

There was a storm in the distance, rain falling in a place I hadn’t yet explored. I wondered what they might be doing over there.

I imagined dancing in the street as the rain picked up so you could truly feel the omnipotence of nature fall down around you.

That’s how I remember Laos, a parallel time and place. When kids danced in the torrential rain happy to be alive and free, while I looked on laughing with them and their sheer joy that infected me too. 

Alone and full in my contented space. Already steadfast in my decision to walk away from a past that had no place in my present.

The thunder came near my rooftop and I wondered if I would be struck down where I stood. I watched with glittering eyes as it danced around me, testing fate as I always have.

When you go, you go. And when you know something isn’t right for you, you know.

Is it possible to feel equally lost and at home in a place? Because that’s how I felt long before I left for Mexico.

An attempt to create a life of stability on swampy ground. A shallow grave, everything floated to the surface with the first hint of the rain. 

Just another boy with a man’s face.

With the mask taken off, I could finally let go.

The facade of the place I once called home swirled around me, mixing the paints of past experiences into a color you couldn’t quite describe.

What a relief to see my memories looking back up at me with all their beautiful ugly truths.

It was just me now, to make or break myself as I wished.

It’s all about mindset, but sometimes it’s hard to pick up the pieces of love and time lost. Of memories never made and paths never crossed.

So I faded away to let myself sink in.

Sink into all the memories, the joy, the pain, the hope, and laughter. Everything that has lead me to where I am today.

Because I’m never going back again. That person who accepted raisins, pretending they were wine. She left this world with the last of the decade as soon as I got on that plane. 

A lot of hard lessons learned, but what would life be without them?

Without the feeling of breaking free from a cocoon that has suffocated you for so long, you would never know just how much further you could fly.

Patience is my greatest confidant these days. I welcome it kindly with each new day. Knowing our friendship will be tested and stretched thin over the coming months, but stronger with each pull.

I think I’ll stay a little while in this tropical place, where life is easy and palm trees sway to twinkling lights with the sound of jazz across the street.

The world keeps spinning and grace is staring me right in the face. 

I’m a runaway like so many others who have come here before, ready to build something that is completely my own. 

Something that feels like dropping my keys in the bowl after a long trip away. Something that is home.

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Mimi McFadden

Travel Writer/Blogger at The Atlas Heart
Mimi founded The Atlas Heart to create a community of travelers inspired to see the world. The Atlas Heart is a space where you'll find anecdotes on slow travel, craft beer, outdoor adventures, and all the eccentric bits in between that this world has to offer.
Mimi McFadden
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