Against Almost All Advice, I Jumped The Line & Made A Home In Mexico

In mid 2010, I was at a standstill in my life. I had just recently received my engineering license, and while I had thought that would solve all the problems in my life (and maybe save the whales too), it really hadn’t changed anything.

I was desperate for answers on what to do, I was desperate for questions on what to say, and I was just plain-out desperate for change.

The thought of another 10 years stuck in the middle with you… no just stuck in my life seemed unbearable, and not likely.

In my desperation, I turned to online dating, specifically, my neighbor’s in Mexico – they were close, and what did I have to lose?

I sent a short, “Hola! Como estas?” that night…. the next morning, I got a response.

“Wait, a second… maybe I’m on to something here?”, I thought.

So I sent another email to a different person, and got a response again…

“What’s going on here?”, I thought.

Looking through the profiles on the site (at the time in 2010, there weren’t many), I saw one in English… “HMM.. what’a going on here?”

She replied something like she had family in the United States and had grown up on both sides (Tijuana and San Diego).  She also was really happy, you could tell in her writings.

This began our friendship.

I would start exploring the city slowly – first crossing on foot for a short walk around, then going to the Cultural Center in Tijuana to see what it looked like.

Almost everyone said, “Don’t go! You’re going to end up killed! You’re going to end up murdered and your body dissolved in an acid bath! I have a friend… I know someone… I have a horror story.”

And, I did listen to the advice, at first. I ended up standing my friend up at the beach because I listened to the advice.

Until, one day, I stopped listening to the advice and I just started to take action.

I would leave my job later that year to go “find my happiness” in South America.

I would cross the United States while in the throes of a Crohn’s flare-up (think of someone stabbing you in the stomache and you’re on the right track).

I would cash in my retirement and use the money to rent a room in the mountains of Alpine outside San Diego.

I would sell my car and use the money to rent a small studio apartment in Tijuana near the border crossing at Otay.

I would find my happiness.

I would write and try different ideas to see what actually worked – this would make my first book.

I would take my years of writing and recording music and make a symphony – that I would get the courage to publish in 2014.

I would buy a bike and start exploring the parks of Tijuana, the small stands of food, and meet people.

I would find my home – that I had longed for.

And, in the midst of all this, I would also find me.

Because when you stop listening to advice, you start to form your own opinions, create your own experiences, and make your own life.

Because beyond listening to advice is listening to your heart.

The heart is what you should listen to more.

Because, beyond living life as others want you to, is the life that you want to live.

And, if one day, you do cross too – I’ll meet you on the other side.

And, maybe we’ll grab lunch, or go to a park, or have a bike ride, or do nothing and be perfectly content that way.

And, if you have a longing for something different, don’t look for it in the opinions and advice of others – look for the answers and courage to take action inside.

Because, life beyond advice is beautiful today.

Jamie Smith
therenegadeinc@gmail.com

It's all about the story, man.



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