The Luxury of Worrying

Hello, my name is Maren and I am a constant worrier. Ask anyone I know and they will tell you that I fret about situations not even fathomable or over the smallest details that aren’t worth my time or energy. But I do, and much of our society is comprised of worriers too.

Sometimes I imagine if I lived more in the moment and didn’t worry so much about the future. This is the reality for many migrants, however, and I don’t think it’s all cracked up to be. I’m fortunate that I don’t have to worry about a roof over my head, clothes in my closet, water in my glass, food on my table, care for my health, or even my freedom and rights. I take all of these things for granted yet migrants live in a constant state of worry wondering where these basic needs will come from.

This trip to Nogales made me realize how much I take for granted and that my worries shouldn’t be worries at all, especially in comparison to what others have. So on my trip I embraced waking up at 5 a.m., cold showers, sore muscles, and being constantly thirsty. Instead of wanting to sleep in, complain about the freezing shower temperature, aching feet, or thirst as we were in a different climate and altitude, I was grateful to be able to wake up to another day, be able to have water to clean with, have shoes that fit me and protected my feet, and plenty of clean drinking water.

Chopping cucumbers for dinner!
Ryan, Natalie, and I chopping cucumbers in the Comedor: a simple act but helpful to the staff and meaningful to migrants who were able to enjoy this cool veggie with dinner.

Our society is obsessed with more. We want more, we need more, we aspire to be more, and if we don’t reach those standards, we worry about what we lack and take what we do have for granted. Many people say that after they have lived amongst those who have very little, they claim that the less you have, the happier you are. I don’t think anyone should have to worry about their safety or where their water or next meal comes from, but I believe the distractions we’ve become accustomed to in life have led us to become worriers even if we don’t realize it.

I’m grateful for our Backpack Journalism trip in many ways, but especially appreciative of the little things I so often just accept in life without a second glance, and I hope this experience will remind me to take the time to live fully in the present and enjoy every moment of it.

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