I have lived in Mexico 7 years or so. Travelled here for close to 30 ish more. I have always felt safer and more accepted here than anywhere else. I know I stick out like a sore thumb. Really I do. I dress often in quite revealing outfits. I am not bashful at all . I do too, realize that I can bring unwanted reactions to my being by doing so. That is not going to stop me. I did not become Francine to live being a shrinking violet. I own it. I do my best to do so. When I fall down or feel hurt…I bounce back stronger than ever. I have to. Or I would just wither and die. Not a great plan.
Most people do not wake up in the morning and wonder what hate they will encounter this day. I do. Usually daily in one form or another. Actually there are so many that do maybe deal with this come to realize it. Why the hate? Lack of knowledge? Self loathing? Gullible mind that absorbs only the worst? Peer pressure? I dunno. But it is out there. And , it is gaining in strength! More prevalent than ever before.
I have of recent, noticed a ramping up of outward and open verbal attacks on my being.Apparently is is allowed now. This is not inherent…it is taught or learned from parents…peer groups or media. I daily encounter such barrages. Not fun. But, I will not let those simple juvenile minds stop me. I walk tall and proud. I ignore you to the best of my abilities. And, give you a full stare eye contact just to let you know not to fuck with me. This takes away the power of the aggressor I find. Ok, yes I fail that sometimes because enough is enough and you …you little rude pipsqueak? You get the wrath of Francine. Show off to your boys…your posse of hombres…haha…all good til I cull you from the herd to dress you down in front of all. I made one guy pee himself one night after verbally assaulting me. I can grow big and mean. I drop my voice down low and regurgitate my still inhabiting man genes into action. I win. You will NOT bring me down! Your words and actions do hurt deeply but I won’t let you know that. Maybe I taught you a lesson. I can only hope.
I am fortunate to have much love and friends in this town so that virtually anywhere they are only a mere shout away should I need assistance. I walk around well armed and alert. We all have to be anyway, so that is a no brainer. Tourist season can like anywhere else draw out the rats. The thieves and abusers. Be alert.
Most see my beaming smile and outwardly friendly demeanor. I get home I am exhausted! Worn out. That is the true me now, but, it is a hard thing to maintain all of the time. Reality for myself. I do embrace it. Some mornings I do wish I had never ventured forth as a Francine. After I shave my stubbly face…Who am I kidding? I love being me!!! I love living in Mexico!!! I love all of my friends and community!! I win!
I am too, fortunate to be an artist. I have my escape. The world ceases to exist when I am in my studio painting. Freedom for myself. I shed all my clothing and let magic happen. Unencumbered body and thought. I do not need drugs…I have this outlet. I am an artist! Artists and those of the creative mind tend to suffer a lot. I am no different. At least I can create something beautiful or thought provoking for the world as I deal with my inner turmoil. Who could ask for more?
I always it seems to end my tales with this…I love my life here in Vallarta! Truth!
Featured image is Francine’s painting “I am.”