When I first heard we are terrible at predicting what will bring us happiness I sneered: only people who don’t know themselves are incapable of knowing what will make them happy. But I can’t help but notice I was dreading coming back to the city and the house where I grew up, but now that I’m here I admit my premonitions were off-target.

What did I imagine?

My mother being all over me, treating me like a child.
A dilapidated house which I would want to escape as soon as possible.
No good professional outcomes, or paid work.
Running into undesired acquaintances.
The feeling of insecurity in Mexico.
Inverse cultural shock (when you go back to your country after years abroad).

What actually happened?

My mother is an angel.
The house is dilapidated but I want to fix it as soon as possible.
Interesting freelance work and new ventures are showing up.
Running into undesired acquaintances has turned out pleasant.
I don’t feel insecure in Mexico.
I’m actually enjoying what’s different from Spain.

What seemed to be an interlude in Mexico might turn out to be an act in its own right.