the second toe

by mposadasn

I was told today that when your second toe is longer than your big toe, it means you contain an assertive personality.

I guess it is time to let the larger world know – to all my friends and family that I have not been able to see in the frenzy that has become my life – that I am moving soon back to my country. I want to share with you a little bit of myself, now.

The summer after my first year in college was one of the most bizarre. I decided to stay in Massachusetts and gain an idea of who I was apart from what the previous 19 years had defined for me. I got a job working in cute little Rockport, MA, an unfinished room in downtown Beverly (literally had no ceiling or floor!), and made myself mac n cheese for dinner in my rice maker every night.

That same summer, Sandev and I became close friends. And our consistently-growing friendship has been a source of strength and joy since.

I learned to become financially independent, and a little more fiscally proficient. I also learned that friendship came in so many different forms. From, walking to Stop and Shop for watermelon slices on the 4th of July – to long phone conversations with loved ones as I claimed my space around Gordon College campus at dusk.

I began to understand that God was beyond the confidence of our statements. I began to learn that disappointment was human, and God was not dependent on whether failure or success existed.

Today, I remembered the bizarre feeling that came from hiding in my room and letting the ACLU know that it was safe for them to call my number back. I remembered how afraid I was- and how in so many ways, my bones still remember and tremble from that fear at times. And today, talking to a dear friend about the shapes anger and disappointment take in our lives, remembering how these were words I did not know could shape my mouth into one simple phrase: I need your help.

The summer wrapped up, and the fall came with another difficult semester that melted into wonderful memories of community. The Office of Community Engagement at Gordon, spearheaded by Val and Katie brought iron and fire to my understanding of being.
I learned about Appleton Farms, and I made weekly trips that fall for cider donuts.
Mark S. and his Creative Writing class provided oxygen that I could choose to breathe from on a weekly basis to scratch words that came before me to verbalize who I was becoming. I still don’t know who that is… but I still feel the crisp morning our class spent at the farm in my breathing.

It’s been three ish years since then. With more details and events than I would want to fit into this post. But I am making a decision that resembles the nature of those last few weeks of my second semester at Gordon.

I am moving back to Mexico.

With three suitcases and a cat, I am going back to my country. Knowing only that I am not that into being a lawyer for now.

A common projection for me over the last few days, is an underlying pressure to explain why I would leave the U.S. In many ways, I see this as the start of my career. I’ve been writing and exploring my classes through the lens of my language, my people, and my countries. And, that first summer after my freshman year in college, I told Sandev on the rooftop of a building – I am going to Mexico after I finish it out here.

I don’t have much of a plan, except to aggressively send my C.V. to everywhere; walk around the University and seek out literature professors; go to museums; eat so much of the food that my stomach was made for… And most importantly right now, be with my family.

Currently in transition, with both my aggressively tall second toes jutting out of my sandals, and my cat on my shoulders, I am raw and aching. I am sad, and I am excited. I am tired, very very tired… But as I keep telling myself,

I have to believe that the same grace, excitement, and oxygen I would extend to others, I am extending to myself. And this assertion, is the hardest of all.

With memory written on my back, and hope growing on my fingertips, and with regret of not having enough time to hold those I love and saysee you later, I am pulling my suitcases up and continue to walk forward one hour at a time.