The last blog I wrote and the response it received got me thinking- where do our opinions come from anyway? Sociological analysis aside, how do we form our opinions and for how long do they last? I'm thinking from a more rudimentary level, here. Why are there some things you are 100% sure of your entire life and others that change with each new person you meet? For someone who not only rivals all the burros in Mexico with her level of stubbornness but who at the same time cherishes her ability to learn from people, I am thankful to have seen, met, and experienced what I have so that my opinions could change and develop such a great deal.

I have said it before and I will say it again: I can't stand people who are a. convinced they're right all the time or b. "too much" of anything (too liberal, too conservative, too preppy, too punk, too much of a partier, too much of a bookworm). It's not the most impartial way to be but I've accepted that it's how I see it. I just feel very strongly that it only limits one's perspective and does not allow a person to experience life to the fullest. Our society is how we've made it and ignoring it will only perpetuate its imperfections. I used to be so afraid of saying that. That I was supposed to desperately want to be one of those ultra-liberal, I-believe-anything-is-ok, being politically incorrect is the worst sin I could commit, I should wear only hemp clothing people. One thing is being in absolute agreement with the idea that a person's life is their own and can be lived in the style he or she chooses. Another is being so set in one way or one idea that you are incapable of seeing another, seeing the logic or the root of that perspective. Enter – my life in Mexico.

Now I write this because I am with the understanding, and with complete acceptance, that plenty of people that read what I write do not feel I reach their level of what they would call a "feminist". I'm over it. But it got me thinking- how much have my ideas and opinions changed since I adapted to my life here? How has my definition of what's ok and what's not, how I see my own life, what I want for myself, the role of women vs. the role of men changed? The answer is- a lot. Those things have changed a lot. I've had to get used to hearing things that would make my blood turn cold and the only thing that softens the blow is the fact that in Spanish my brain doesn't, or won't, capture the full meaning. I have had to become ok with the idea that gender roles just don't matter to as many people as I thought they once did. That I enjoy being feminine a lot more than I used to allow myself to admit. But most importantly- that I can't always let my ideas flow freely if I really want them to make a difference.

I've thought the following things more times than I'd like to count:

"Wow. Wow? He actually thinks that."

"She has no idea she doesn't have to put up with that."

" Mmhmm. In another time and place, I would have had fire coming out of my ears to hear that word. Now I just have to bite my tongue"


So why do I put up with these things? If in the past it was all arguments, discussions, and learning experiences, why have my opinions changed? I think I've just realized that it's not necessarily the opinion that has changed but the way I choose to approach it based on the environment I'm in- whether that be the country, city, party, or coffee shop. I think a lot of people get used to being in a world, however small or limited it may be, that supports them and the way they think. I was one of them. But now, I'm surrounded by some of the most amazing people I've ever known- and I couldn't disagree more with them on certain issues. These issues used to be deal-breakers for me. Now, I see them as opportunities. As ways to slowly, but oh-so-surely, get a new idea or a different perspective in there. I'm not sure if this is living in Mexico or just leaving my comfort zone in general but I think it's a good thing.

So if now your response is that I am losing sight of the whole pint, or maybe that I never even understood it to being with, go on wit ya bad self. I'm gonna stick with this method. I think, for now, that it's ok and it's how I've learned to approach things. But don't worry, ask me tomorrow and maybe I'll have a completely different response.

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