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Old 03-04-2012, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Under Mount Doom
9,246 posts, read 6,107,249 times
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I don't think this thread needs to have a "mood." I think it is just fine to have people post about things that they don't like too. I live in a state (Oregon) where people constantly are moving here with a "dream," and little else. My wife hands out food stamps to them all the time, and they drive off in beemers. New Mexico seems pretty similar. Kinds of a shangri la for the daydreamers who don't want or need an income, good schools, low crime, and the like. Well that is all fine, but my impression of the place is that the scenery is great, but probably no better than about a dozen other states, the climate is pretty good (love the thunderstorms!), but not perfect, and the culture has some thorns among the roses. It has a lot of trash, corruption, nepotism, drunk driving, violence, and income stratification to balance the ethereal laid back vibe.

How I would change in NM would likely depend upon whether I landed a decent job in a safe place, my wife did the same, we found family friends relatively quickly, my boy found a school with good teachers and friends with goals for themselves, and did not get jumped by cholos on the way home from school, etc. Personally, I don't really want to change too much, except to be more thankful and warm. I make my best friendships by working with others. I will still have high expectations of myself, and I think more people should (and not just in New Mexico). Tightly wound? Sure, a little, but I like to get things done.

I do think the culture of New Mexico is very distinct and fascinating, and I have met some very nice people there. I have felt the "magic" in the San Luis Valley, the Northeast, the Sangre de Cristos, the High Sandias, etc. A terrific place. But I don't think this thread needs to be airy fairy lovefest by well-heeled people from the coasts fantasizing about vibrating amidst the mesas of NM. I bet the state has plenty of those folks already, and there is much more to the state than that anyway.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:30 PM
 
10,107 posts, read 14,420,016 times
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Interesting to see this thread revived. I was curious to see the answers, old and new.
I lived in Santa Fe as a young woman, age 25, for six months. Had left a perfect job in Cambridge, MA, to move to NM. Several years before, in my first trip ANYWHERE (off the East Coast), my friends' car broke down in Albuquerque, and we stayed for a few days with someone's cousin. I loved the weather, the dryness, the mountains, the adobe, the feeling of being in another country, so years later, I moved there with a vague plan to be one of the first female apprentices in the Carpenters' Union. I drove across country alone. When I crossed the Texas border to "Welcome to New Mexico," I stopped to note the occasion and instantly felt a sinking feeling, a dread. It never went away.
I found that being a young Anglo female without male company in NM was terrifying, and I was not a timid person, having always lived alone, been in the city, etc. Things happened around me (neighbor murdered, woman gang-raped, co-worker assaulted in parking lot) that never happened anywhere near me in big-city life. I was also waitressing at night, and being car-dependent, and got followed, chased, you name it by groups of guys in car. I started to carry a ladies' .22 piece of junk in the glove compartment.
Interestingly, except for once when the guys locked me into a school we were working on (accident?) the men and other apprentices in the union were perfect gentlemen, although I know they thought I might be from Mars or something. I remember during one class, one of the other apprentices walked shyly up to me and whispered, "You're going to be a very good carpenter." Except for one Anglo guy (who was part Puerto Rican and had a Spanish name) I was the only Anglo.
The job situation petered out after six months, the friends I had made drifted on elsewhere, and I was facing living there on unemployment with nothing going on, so I left.
I have wanted to go back with company to visit and see if I can get rid of that memory of the great dread that was on me, mysteriously, since the moment I crossed the state line, never mind that I had eagerly sought to move there.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Under Mount Doom
9,246 posts, read 6,107,249 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
Interesting to see this thread revived. I was curious to see the answers, old and new.
I lived in Santa Fe as a young woman, age 25, for six months. Had left a perfect job in Cambridge, MA, to move to NM. Several years before, in my first trip ANYWHERE (off the East Coast), my friends' car broke down in Albuquerque, and we stayed for a few days with someone's cousin. I loved the weather, the dryness, the mountains, the adobe, the feeling of being in another country, so years later, I moved there with a vague plan to be one of the first female apprentices in the Carpenters' Union. I drove across country alone. When I crossed the Texas border to "Welcome to New Mexico," I stopped to note the occasion and instantly felt a sinking feeling, a dread. It never went away.
I found that being a young Anglo female without male company in NM was terrifying, and I was not a timid person, having always lived alone, been in the city, etc. Things happened around me (neighbor murdered, woman gang-raped, co-worker assaulted in parking lot) that never happened anywhere near me in big-city life. I was also waitressing at night, and being car-dependent, and got followed, chased, you name it by groups of guys in car. I started to carry a ladies' .22 piece of junk in the glove compartment.
Interestingly, except for once when the guys locked me into a school we were working on (accident?) the men and other apprentices in the union were perfect gentlemen, although I know they thought I might be from Mars or something. I remember during one class, one of the other apprentices walked shyly up to me and whispered, "You're going to be a very good carpenter." Except for one Anglo guy (who was part Puerto Rican and had a Spanish name) I was the only Anglo.
The job situation petered out after six months, the friends I had made drifted on elsewhere, and I was facing living there on unemployment with nothing going on, so I left.
I have wanted to go back with company to visit and see if I can get rid of that memory of the great dread that was on me, mysteriously, since the moment I crossed the state line, never mind that I had eagerly sought to move there.
Brightdoglover,

Do you have any history of ESP or anything? My wife does, and she can feel when things are going to go south. I wonder what filled you with dread at crossing the state line? I know that when I was younger, I traveled quite a bit, and some places were quite scary. I loathed Morocco, for instance. Just seemed to be a sleazy place where I was a mark and the western women were meat (no offense, just my impression as a young guy). Some of this is just culture clash. And when one is lonely and struggling to adjust, incidents can take on greater meaning.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:08 PM
 
391 posts, read 390,728 times
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Interesting and compelling narrative, brightdoglover. Thanks for writing it.
I particularly admire your desire to come back and take a second look at those feelings and experiences.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:31 PM
 
391 posts, read 390,728 times
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Originally Posted by gingeone View Post
Ajzjms mom. Please leave your stressful comments to yourself you are positively ruining the mood here.
Gineone, she is speaking the sad truth about education and the school systems in NM. It pains me to say this, but it's true. One of the principal reasons for the generally low incomes and the attendant problems that come with poverty is the poor attitude and respect for education in general by New Mexicans. I think it's a shame, a pity, but it's the truth.

There are obviously many New Mexicans who believe education is very important...but the measureably poor results of New Mexico education show that far too many New Mexicans do not consider education important enough to change a very broken system, and this very much includes the involvement, or lack thereof, of the family in pushing kids to excel.
If that disturbs an idyllic mood I think that's also a shame, but unpleasant truth tends to do that, and it's not the fault of the truth-teller.
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:06 AM
 
Location: Under Mount Doom
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I agree. My chief concern with moving to New Mexico is the peers my son would have. I grew up in the S. San Joaquin Valley (CA) in a largely hispanic farming town where people are friendly and get along well, but just over 60% of the kids graduate from high school. That is just ridiculous. It is not inspiring to consider that similar cultural patterns exist in New Mexico. Namely, low educational attainment, high levels of gang membership, and high levels of crime characterize too many young men. So, while I see much in the state and its residents to love, there are issues too.

Not saying a person might not have a great, life transforming experience there, but there seem to be pretty high probabilities for some negative experiences too.
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:00 PM
 
10,107 posts, read 14,420,016 times
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I have read with envy the many people who feel the enchantment of New Mexico. No, I am not intuitive or anything (frankly, the opposite!) so that surprises me even more that I felt such undefined dread when I got there.
I don't believe in, or experience, vortexes, vibes, and so on, and have heard people say they get such a positive feeling in New Mexico. I was dead on frankly afraid of men, local men, drifter men passing through, men. Being in an amazingly beautiful place didn't stop that, it made me aware of how vulnerable I was to be alone in this bad-feeling place.
I didn't have the dread feeling the times I went to pueblo festivals or the one wonderful time I was invited to a pre-festival dinner at a chief's house. But that was all daylight and with people by invitation.
There was a 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week rape crisis center and service. I didn't imagine that.
I did drive though two days with a female friend in 2000. The busted 2-lane sort of highway past Tierra Amarilla was now a paved 4-lane-ish road with regular green road signs. The adobe crumble that I stayed in in T.A. had hit the ground. The shot-up courthouse is being replaced. The roadside bar where I worked and which closed overnight when a customer, kicked out for fighting and hit with a pool cue, came back and threatened to kill the owner and burn down his house with his family in it, (the LineCamp Restaurant) was now a rug gallery.
Yes, I would like to see the city of Santa Fe, art galleries and restaurants, and see the countryside without that fear. Not sure how I'll do it- maybe get a male friend who carries.
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Old Town
1,652 posts, read 1,573,549 times
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brightdoglover - sorry you feel that way. My wife who was born and raised in NM has never felt what you do. Save to couple of years that she attended UCLA Law School she has been here all her life. She owns a construction company that is obviously in an industry that is dominated by men. Her company has done jobs all over the state including small towns like Tierra Amarilla, Dulce, Deming, El Rito, Cebolla, Los Ojo..etc...etc. She has spent a lot of time in small towns, primarily around Belen and Abiquiu. She has never conveyed any type of sentiments you are expressing. She along with a few girl friends have wondered around the state by themselves over the years. Camping, hiking and just general exploring. Many times without men and have never had any problems.
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Nuevo México
1,820 posts, read 2,201,714 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
I don't believe in, or experience, vortexes, vibes, and so on...

Yes, I would like to see the city of Santa Fe, art galleries and restaurants, and see the countryside without that fear. Not sure how I'll do it- maybe get a male friend who carries.
You "don't experience vibes", yet you prefaced your whole story on bad feeling you got the second you crossed the state line. If that's not experiencing a vibe, what is? It sounds a little like the feeling I get when I cross into Texas. But it fades after a few minutes.

You may have some issues that maybe a therapist could help with. I'm not being snarky, I believe in therapy. My partner is a therapist. I have never known anyone who seemed so spooked by a place. It sounds like you have some fears to come to terms with that have nothing to do with New Mexico IMHO.
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Nuevo México
1,820 posts, read 2,201,714 times
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It has been mentioned before, but I think when we let negative thoughts, feelings, vibes (what have you) get the upper hand, then those feelings can easily become actualized in your surroundings. Every negative thing we experience we then attribute to "that feeling I had" and it becomes self-fulfilling. It's kind of like a bad luck charm, like the stories of people who took a chunk of lava from Hawaii and then something bad happened to them, so they think the goddess Pele really did put a curse on them and they send the lava back. Well, bad stuff does happen, to everyone, but not everyone stole a chunk of lava from Hawaii or has some kind of bad omen hanging over them when they cross a state line. And it sounds like nothing bad really happened to you personally in New Mexico, but you internalized things happening to people around you to validate your feelings.

I think it would be therapeutic to return to the state and try to enjoy yourself, maybe seek out some healing experiences, get a massage, go to Ojo Caliente, experience Pueblo dances again, maybe find someone to do a smudge stick ceremony or whatever you think would bring some positive energy back to you.
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