From day one living at the beach was a new frame of mind and with each passing day the pain of the past slowly was being let go. As it is with all things in life that we hold onto, it takes time to allow your heart and mind to heal. The fact that each day I was not confronted with a place or image of my past was a step in the right direction. This was going to be my new home for now and it was wonderful being away from the traffic, car horns, crowds, and pollution and negative attitudes of people in and around San Jose.
The house was gorgeous. It was completely surrounded by nature and located only a mile from the beach. Although I had brought my furniture from San Jose, the house seemed barren because of how large it was. I had a roof over my head and a new beginning. There was not much more that I really needed to feel happy again.
My room was my oasis away from everything. Although my bed frame had not been built yet, sleeping on the mattress on the floor kind of felt like luxury camping. I had AC in the room that would allow me to slowly adjust to the heat at the beach after being in the central valley for so long. For at least a little while the house would be completely mine. No people. No distractions; just myself, nature, the beach, and the desire to slowly breathe out the anger that had been contaminating my soul. Letting go of what had become hate inside of me was the only way I would ever be able to find peace again.
Each evening would consist of sitting on the porch, listening to the jungle around me, and watching the fireflies in the backyard. The mornings would be a bike ride to the beach and at least an hour of allowing each wave to take a little bit of those painful memories away. I had started to realize that this was my life and the only thing that mattered was the future in front of me.
Had I gone through a tremendous ordeal at the hospital and through recovery…yes, but everyone goes through hardship in their lives. I was no different. Had I fallen in love with a girl that could never be with me…yes but most people have had what they thought was the love of their life come and go. Without heartache and loss, we cannot have our heart become stronger and continue on that journey to find someone that completes us.
In many people’s lives is a battle each and every day. It is a daily fight to try to keep a positive attitude and each time we get knocked down, our true grit is displayed when we dust ourselves off and say “is that all you’ve got?” Finding yourself is not about the days where everything goes great. It is about the days where you are pushed to the brink of throwing up your hands and giving up but instead you never quit and you keep taking those steps forward after being pushed two steps back.
Although I still had the drive and business mentality to put in my 10 to 12 hours of work each day, I began taking time for myself. Each day would begin with an hour in the morning to enjoy the beach, an hour nap in the afternoon to rest and relax, and I had my to do list that I would set for myself each and every night knowing that I would be able to complete it the next day and still have time for myself. My days of working 16 plus hours a day with no “me time” was over.
I began speaking to old friends of mine in the U.S. and they would tell me about their lives. Many were married and had kids. Some were going through divorces. A majority was spending 50 weeks a year cooped up in an office making good money but they had no time for themselves. It was all about image. They needed the nice house, nice car, nice clothes, and everything else that the materialistic society in the U.S.A. states that you need to be happy. There was one thing that society had forgotten to tell them - all of these things cause you do be in debt and you end up spending all of your days, weeks and years going to and from an office while missing the important things in life. You become a cog in the system in the U.S.A. where the government sees you as an entity generating revenue through your tax dollars. The funny thing was, even the ones that had obtained the things that were supposed to make them happy were miserable. Although I did not have much, I was moving towards a point where I could be happy with what I had and what my life consisted of on a daily basis.
Life at the beach was night and day to life in the metropolitan area of San Jose. The days of fighting traffic were over. If I needed to get to Jaco it was a short 10 minute taxi ride and Hermosa was a 10 minute bike ride. In San Jose people always seem to be in a bad mood. It is like they wake up on the wrong side of the bed each and every day. In the beach towns, yes everything moves a little bit slower but people are in a better mood. I guess it is understandable when if you are having a bad day you can take a quick walk to the beach and just listen to the waves to escape for a little while.
Although things move slower, a kind of island time mentality, things seem to get done faster. Let me explain. In San Jose if you need something done like repairs to your vehicle or even just meeting with your lawyer, they normally set appointments very quickly but you have to reschedule about 3 times and by the time they actually start to work on your needs it is a week down the road. At the beach getting in to see someone normally happens in a day or two. They will tell you that it will take 3 to 4 days to get whatever it is you need done and after a week it is complete…….in San Jose you would still be trying to get in to meet after a few rescheduled appointments.
As much as I think it is a necessity to speak Spanish in Costa Rica and honestly think it displays assaholic behavior when someone has lived here over a few years and refuses to learn the language, living at the beach is a breath of fresh air when you have the ability to speak English. In and around San Jose you almost always have to interact in Spanish when it comes to business and in social settings. Being that the beach towns attract so many tourists, a majority of the wait staff and locals speak English. Since I was able to switch off the Spanish side of my brain for even a little while seemed to relieve stress and makes you feel more comfortable. Not to mention being able to meet tourists coming to town and carry on entire conversations in your native tongue.
I have to mention it as it is true. The women at the beach are gorgeous in Costa Rica. Yes there are beautiful women in every area of the country but in and around the San Jose area because of the fact that many are sitting in offices all day and eating fast food, a lot of females are overweight. This is not just an assumption the obesity rate in Costa Rica is about 6 out of every 10 women are overweight. Most of the women at the beach ride do daily exercise, be it running on the beach, riding their bikes, going to the gym, or for a lot of women sex all night. Believe it or not that keeps you in pretty good shape. Plus there are not many fast food places in town.
In the media business I was in for the online newspaper and marketing, it was a constant battle in the central valley. There is not much desire to work together in a common goal of everyone promoting each other. I had spoken to several media outlets that had mentioned the want to kind of “club” to share ideas and cross promote each other. There was one problem, the hidden purpose of the meetings for most was to find out the ideas of the other members of the group, implement it on their media outlet and never share anyone’s articles or content. Upon arrival in Jaco/Hermosa from day one there was a common goal of working together to form as strong a group as possible to promote both each other and the area. This team goal was known as more important as the individual goals.
The present was finally becoming something that I was enjoying and the future was looking bright. For the first time in a long time I enjoyed getting out of bed in the morning and greeting the day. A friend of mine asked me one day while we were sitting on his balcony overlooking the ocean, “so how does it feel to finally be experiencing Costa Rica?” The question hit home as the years spent in San Jose had finally come to a close and I was finally living a life that most people would jump at the chance to experience. I looked at him, took a breath as I absorbed my surroundings and answered truthfully. “I felt like I was finally home.”
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