Wednesday, September 24, 2014


I am back home in Seattle, and as excited as I was to return, the feeling did not land with me.

I feel lost and a little confused.  Wanting to hug the people I meet and greet everyone with a smile and a Spanish greeting.  But, I can't. I feel like I am unsure of how to return to where I was.

The problem is, I can't. When I say I feel lost, it's probably because I actually am.  I have to carve a new path to walk down.

Part of me anticipates this being read with criticism and judgement but the truth is is that these are my feelings and no one can say otherwise.  I feel as I need to prove to someone that it's okay that I feel this way but that is because I want to live up to these presumed expectations that I am thinking that everyone is thinking I should be full of life and joy after returning from this trip.  When reality, I am projecting my own expectations. (I laugh at my own ridiculousness.)

Costa Rica was difficult and beautiful but it became my life and home for a while and it always painful to accept the death of things.

I loved seeing another culture and practicing it as my own.  It's hard to return and to have to leave it behind.  I went to Costa Rica prepared to do so, but not in returning. 

Something that Costa Rica taught me is the comparison factor that we do.  My Way vs Their Way.  I was caught with this a couple times with things that displeased myself and was surprised at my own response and reminded myself, "Not better or worse, just different."

I was surprised to find that I carried this back to Seattle with me when I was confronted to my usual patterns of being irritated and passing judgements.  "Not bad, just different."

I hadn't realized how judgmental and self-centered I am until I returned to Seattle.  I am really thankful that Costa Rica has shown me so.  Because it is my selfishness and judgements that I build my own prison.

Like the breaths we take in each moment, I breathe in what is now and as I breath out, relax my grip on the things that I think should be.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Costa Rica

When I first arrived in Costa Rica it was really difficult for me. I was timid and scared as I sat down for breakfast with my new family for the next 4 weeks. They spoke little to know English and I knew only small phrases that made me sound similar to a cave man. "How I go school?"
I was so incredibly anxious not knowing anyone nor where any of my fellow students were.
Spanish words were swimming in my head.

On Monday when I finally met up with the other students I had never been so happy to speak English. I don't know if there is a worse feeling than not being able to communicate your own self. Your own thoughts and feelings.

Although I was able to speak English with my fellow cohorts, part of me was still missing. I began to pull away from Costa Rica and into a search for myself. Most of which I found in the companionship of other English speakers. This was my bandaid.

Today I went on a walk with my iPod. I walked alongside the narrow cement road noticing the many cyclists and motorists whom rode by, along with the occasional red taxi.
I looked at the houses and what felt like to me, odd balance of beauty and disarray. Nice cement driveways with large black gates surrounding and mud that hung between the house and the street and the occasional smell of sewage.
At other places I would stop at the side of the road where the houses opened up to the sugar cane fields. There it would stretch into the hills and the hills that climbed into the mountains.
A word that is common amongst Costa Rican people, or Ticos, as they like to call themselves.
I walked further, still letting my playlist sing to my own voice. I could feel myself breathe again. I could hear my own voice climbing out of me. And finally I could see what it was I came here for.

The colors and warmth of Costa Rica was more alive tome now. It's like I had found the language I was trying to speak the whole time.
I couldn't hear because I forgot how to listen.
I couldn't hear because I couldn't.

Despite my minimal words and construed sentences, I can still communicate kindness.

My host mom and I, despite our language barrier have been able to talk about the difficulty in communicating with each other.
We both had been concerned with the feelings the other had regarding our self. I was worried I would offend her in some cultural way I knew nothing about, and she was worried I didn't like her or her family.
We hugged and understood one another.
Something she reminds me of, "poca a poca."
Little by little.
I always want to run full speed into something and that's okay. But sometimes it is helpful to take it little by little as you go.

Life is hard. But life is beautiful.
Oh! To be curious!
To be wide eyed and excited to hunger with your senses.
We were born to love and laugh.

I drink coffee every morning that my host makes me and eat delicious frutas which she slices each morning for me.
I take a taxi to a beautiful campus where I learn and speak Spanish. I have a break each day where I drink another cup of coffee and eat galletas outside at a picnic table where tropical plants grow all around.
I've seen a coffee plantation and tropical animals. I've danced the salsa and swam in waterfalls. I've celebrated 50 years of life with my host mom's brother and met all of her family. And I have much more adventures to come. I am truly blessed by and with love.
Pura Vida.

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