the evolution of one step closer

Today I was introduced via blogosphere-friend Rich to two other fascinating blogs, para justicia y libertad and the unapologetic Mexican. Between my Journal Sentinel columns, my activity on and a number of other circumstances, my little site and I have been inducted into a whole new world of political blogging in the past few months.

In October 2004, I started blogging as an outlet for my random thoughts and feelings on life and faith, inspired by my friend Mary. I was a college graduate working in a stressful, physical job, and my writing muscles were in a state of atrophy. My yearning to experience the whole world, it’s people, it’s food, it’s climates and vistas, cultivated by a year spent living in Beijing, re-focused into a complete fascination with the growing Mexican immigrant community right here in my Midwestern hometown. My life was chaotic, as is the case for many 20-somethings, and I was newly married to Fermin, one of those very Mexican immigrants.

My musings turned to home ownership, restaurant management-related stress, cross-cultural relationships, and immigration issues that at the time only affected me indirectly. Today, my posts are probably 80% on immigration and other politically related issues. The evolution of this site mirrors my changing inner thoughts and struggles and what I think and care about. Life in my early 20s, when I experienced a crisis of faith and career and wondered where I should live, has shifted in unforeseen ways since Fermin and I, somewhat impulsively, decided to marry.

My personal life is much more settled, because I am with the person I want to be with, despite not being physically near him right now, and not knowing where we will reside in a year, or even six months. But issues of faith and religion no longer haunt me the way they once did, I simply think less about them. My life as an evangelical is now distant, and I am just me, the way I am, hopefully a little better than the day before, but probably not.

The stress of our immigration problems has hindered my ability to continue the sort of gratuitously introspective thinking I had become accustomed to during college and in the few years following. Relatively mindless activities, like gardening or cooking, once a burden, are now a pleasure. Some days, like a few months ago when I read What is the What, I went to bed in tears, in devastation and disbelief that there are people in the world suffering to such striking, piercing degrees that your mind can hardly wrap around it, and I was laying alone in my house having just dropped $100 at Target on shoes and candles and greeting cards.

Now, when I am thinking too much, I start to imagine our future in Mexico — would we live in Puebla, or Xalapa, or Libres? Will I ever be able to pronounce the rolled Spanish “r,” or will I sound like a foreign gringa forever? Will we ever be afford the traveling that I love so much, or will that be a thing of my past life, my jet-setting American life?

I didn’t start out blogging to be read, or to change the world. While I love that my readership is way up and that people come here for commentary on the dark corners of the family-based immigration system, I still occasionally need this site as a depository for the stuff that fills my mind.


4 Responses to the evolution of one step closer

  1. lotimes says:

    It does seem to me that the sort of intense introspectiveness that you mention is a privilege of a somewhat comfortable, cushy American life. Or maybe it’s a privilege of youth? I’m not sure.

    By the way, I have a dysfunctional tongue also that absolutely refuses to do anything close to rolling an r 😦 If I ever get that down, I will really feel fluent!!

  2. XP says:

    Isn’t the Internet a wonderful thing when a mutual blogosphere-friend can connect people together? If it wasn’t Rich who posted a link to your site, who knows how long I would have found this site.

  3. hang in there, my friend. i hope things improve. good to meet ya.

  4. laurafern says:

    Thanks to you both! I look forward to further surfing and exploring both of your sites.

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