Archive for July, 2009

Reality bites

While driving down a major freeway the other day, on my way to the old job in an office I haven’t seen in a year, my car suddenly stopped.

Dead. Right there in the middle of major traffic.

Surely this was the sign I’ve been looking for in the past month, since trading Costa Rican paradise for a chaotic life in Calgary.

No more work. No more grind. Time to quit my job for good and pursue the dream, whatever that is.

The $600 repair bill swiftly brought me back to reality.

It seems it was a sign, only the opposite. The sign that I HAVE to go back to work to pay off the mechanic, and the myriad other bills that mounted while we cavorted around Costa Rica for a year, having the time of our lives.

During the past several weeks of post-mortem, another epiphany occurred: Real life sucks.

I guess I can’t really call it an epiphany. I think it’s something I’ve known all along, that I’m not cut out for ordinary suburban life.

In fact, reading back over my old blogs, this fact jumped off practically every post.

So if this point was, and is so obvious to everyone, including me, then why was I then, and now still living it?

I’ll get back to you.

First, the mechanic beckons. And then it’s off to work.


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A letter home

Dear Costa Rica,

I just wanted to send a note letting you know, my love, that I made it home to Canada safe and sound.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that I miss you desperately and would be on the next plane back to you if I could.

Our trip home was uneventful, though the boy burst into tears as our airplane ascended  into the sky and away from the tropical paradise that we all grew to love and at times, hate, too.

Though I shed some tears of my own before leaving, they were not initially for you, Costa Rica, but for the dear friends that we grew close to in Atenas.

It was not until days later that the floodgate opened, when I became overwhelmed with the culture shock of returning to the place that I once called home but, strangely, now is the one looks and feels like a foreign land.

Following behind a truck full of furniture to move back into the house I was happy to leave behind, the tears began to flow.

Though the sky was blue, it was cold outside. Barely above freezing and it’s the end of June.

While in the rear-view mirror I could see the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains, the flat lands of the Alberta Prairie were spread out ahead. It is a mildly green, uninspiring landscape that leaves me longing for the dense jungle of Costa Rica through which the winding, narrow roads are carved.

It is also a landscape noticably bereft of any character despite the rows upon rows of picture pergect gigantic homes that look as if they have been stamped one next to the other with a cookie cutter.

Aside from moving back into our home, there is a mountain of tasks to attend to. Cars to be insured. Utilities to be arranged. Battles with Revenue Canada to be fought – that’s a whole other story that leaves me longing to return to Costa Rica, a place where people’s lives are not governed by myriad rules and government intervention.

I just feel so sad and so lonely, despite the amazing reception and welcome back from all the wonderful friends we left behind.

I miss you Costa Rica.

I miss your smell after the rain. I miss being wrapped in the arms of your sunshine.

I miss waking up and feeling alive and full of joy.

But in reality it was all an illusion, a one-year affair that had to end. I knew that from the beginning and tried not to get too attached.

Still, I fell in love with you in spite of your flaws, or perhaps because of them. You taught me that paradise never comes without its pitfalls. That none of us is perfect and that it’s ok to be vulnerable. You accepted me and allowed me to be myself instead of who and what everyone else expects me to be.

I try every day to remember the many lessons you taught me but most of those days still end in tears. Even now, as I write this letter, they spill down my cheeks.

I do not regret running away from home to be with you but for now, it is too difficult to think of our time together. So, do not expect to hear from me for a while. It is simply too painful.

Hopefully, with time and distance, I can write again and reminisce about all the wonderful times we shared without feeling so sad.

So, until then.

Hasta luego, mi amor.

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