Wed. Oct 16th, 2019

Connecting the Dots

Well… this is a really awkward post because suddenly there are two completely different types of people that might read this…
-On the one hand, my friends y familia in KC & México are used to the occasional Facebook post where I say “here’s a quick update!”
You guys will probably see this and say “O yeah, I totally forgot you’re in Vienna now, what have you been up to?” or “Ahí va otra vez este güey con sus pendejadas… pues ya ni modo, a ver que babosada dice ahora…”
-On the other hand, I’ve added a lot of people on Facebook that I’ve met recently and will be studying with.
You guys will probably see this and think “…O god… you’re one of those guys… *remove from Facebook*…”

Some of you won’t be seeing me but you’ll probably be contacting me…
Some of you will be seeing me but you’ll probably avoid contacting me…
And the only thing that you all have in common is that you know me somehow (…which all of you probably regret by now, so hey! that’s another thing you all have in common!).

That’s why this is a bit awkward for me. I feel like I’m introducing a brand new girlfriend to my parents for the first time. (Although my friends from home probably thought “HA!.. your ‘girlfriend’… suuuuree …”)
Anyway…

To those who are in KC y en México: I probably won’t be posting very often from now on. We start classes this coming Monday, so I will probably be busy doing a whole bunch of pretend-studying and making new friends that will easily replace you (<- those are both definitely a joke, in case my wording didn’t make it obvious). Feel free to contact me any time you want to catch up though (as always).
To those who I’m gonna be seeing in Austria: …uhh… yeah.. this is awkward… ummm… I sort of started this little blog in order to tell my friends why I was leaving the U.S. and how complicated and screwy my situation was. So I guess now you’re able to find out all this dirt about me and you can use it to socially blackmail me…. scheiße, me thinks

To all of you:
This is not a travel or study abroad blog, even if it occasionally seems like it. Frankly I don’t even like to think about it as a “blog” even though I do tend to use it as a way to send friends/family updates about what I’m doing (and make them jealous, duh). When I started this in April, there were two main reasons:
timing – I needed to tell my friends why I was only going to be in the States for a few more months and why I would only be able to come back as a tourist once I left.
personal development – by now both old and new friends know that I love to discuss things. The deeper, the better. My bro (¿qué onda güey?) and parents are incredibly sick of this, but some people learn how to put up with it. This is why I am one of those people who has few very close friends instead of having hundreds of ‘friends’ earned by trying to please everyone. (My close/old friends know that I’m not always arguing and sometimes I make  ‘argumentative’-type comments that disagree with you just for shits and giggles; the best way to tell me to shut up or to signal that you don’t want me to truly [over]think about what you said is to say something like “Don’t give me any of that philosphical shit“).
In the “¿Why?” section, I wrote exactly why I started this silly thing so I’m not going to repeat all that, but I want to stress that [ideally] I still plan on using this every once in a while, and I may not always post an annoying link that says “Check this out! I’m trying to be cool!”

In a nutshell: I want to remind you all that I’m still more introverted than extroverted, and I would much rather sit around doing nothing with my closest friend than go around in a group where I’m not particularly spending time with or getting to know one person (sort of like “two is company, three is a crowd” but without the sexual reference). Sharing these links (especially the personal ones) usually makes me cringe and I don’t check Facebook again for about a day because I’m literally giving you the ammo to using my own words/thoughts against me (I definitely laughed when I wrote literally right there). It makes me uncomfortable as hell to think that people know what’s going on inside my head because it’s the only place I’ve always had to myself. I came to Vienna to add a little bit more cultural complexity to my confusing little head and to hopefully get to know and understand more people. I really hope that some of you will meet each other in the future because it would help you see that people (i.e. you) are the reason why I have such weird/complicated and possibly contradicting views about everything from food and fun, to religion, loyalty and love.
The last thing I am going to say…(by the way, potential-new-friends: I am prone to [mindful] rants)… is something that I haven’t really told any friends (new or old).

The reason why this blog has such a stupid and weird name is actually pretty personal.
I went ahead and posted a ‘page’ with an extended explanation (in case you are incredibly bored enough to look at it), but here are the main things you need to know about my reasoning (with AWESOME videos attached to them).

All of you know the following info by now:
I spent the first 12 years of my life in Mexico City. I spent my childhood years (which are critical in shaping your personality) in a huge fast-paced and cosmopolitan Latin American city and I lived everything that comes with it. All the bad (pollution, over-population, crime, traffic, etc), and all the good (family-mentality, pre-colonial history/ruins, etc). Playing on the street is a no-no, strangers are everywhere (and potential kidnappers), and just about everyone is expected to be the same religion. We lived in the middle of mountains but were able to reach the beach in a couple of hours.
Then I moved to Kansas City. I spent my teenage and college years (which are critical for developing your character) in a medium-sized slow-paced American Midwest city, and all that it carries with it. This was a huge contrast to Mexico City. Kids are always outside (well, back in the day they were), strangers are not everywhere and they are usually friendly, and I don’t even have to talk about the “separation of church and state” that people always argue about. Mountains are practically a myth, some people grow up in farms, and the closest thing to a [real] beach is at least 8 hours. I could talk about the contrast for days, but I think it’s easy to see how it was a whole new environment.
Now, I decided I don’t fit into either of these and I came to Vienna. One of the few things that these have in common is that they are all geographically considered to be “in the middle” of something (middle of the country, middle of the mountains, middle of East and West), but these are all very different places with very different people and cultures. I would say that Vienna is somewhere in the middle of Mexico and Kansas when it comes to size and other things, but I’m definitely biased because I’m always trying to find ‘the middle’ of things even if it doesn’t exist.

The reason I bring up this personal history is because all of this has made my identity a pretty complicated and confusing thing which is constantly changing. I think this is the way everyone’s identity works, but we all choose to put a label on things and then choose sides when one side it pinned against the other. That’s why I made up this stupid little word. I decided to put a label on non-labeling and call it ‘my thing’. In my experience, words have subjective meanings and they often fail to communicate the proper idea unless people are on the exact same page (which is practically impossible). If I’ve talked to you about the phrase “Hope is a waking dream” then you might understand what I mean (and if I haven’t, I would love to).
Anyway, I wanted to make up my own subjective word to express an idea (#reasonsWhyImLovingGerman) and this was the result.
Sonder
+  Bodhi
Sonderbodhi
(You should DEFINITELY watch those videos)

It expresses everything I want it to express and connects everything I want to connect (i.e. my own life and thoughts with the world). It is the only thing I want to identify with because I made up its meaning and I can change it if I want to. So there you go. Now my old friends and my new potential friends all discovered something about me.
My only request is: please don’t bring up this word around me. Don’t say it to my face. It’s ridiculous and embarrassing and I don’t need to be reminded of my childish tendency to imagine things that don’t exist.
p.s. I’m too lazy to translate this post into Spanish or Italian right now, so that will have to happen some other day.

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