After the demon of an ex-roommate had been removed from my general vicinity, all of a sudden things seemed to immediately take a turn for the better and peace entered into my life. For the first time in a long time, I was able to begin to focus completely on myself and my own happiness. Lessons had been learned in regards to not letting just anyone enter my life. Sometimes it is better to struggle somewhat financially and have peace in your life than to have a little extra cash and be surrounded by drama. I had somehow managed to keep the monetary tightness and add more drama…not exactly a win/win situation in anyone’s book.
As I look back over the years since I left the hospital, it had been a complete up and down ride where everything would be at a level where I was content, but not satisfied and then I would be knocked down almost to the point of leaving Costa Rica. I cannot count the number of days that I woke up thinking to myself, “Why am I in this country? Why am I not going back home and taking a job where I would not be living basically paycheck to paycheck? What was keeping me in a country that makes me feel so unhappy at least once a week?”
I think the answer was pure stubbornness combined with a fear of starting over AGAIN. When I came down to Costa Rica all I wanted to do was escape reality and run from my demons in order to never actually face my problems or admit my self-destructive tendencies. I packed my bags and headed to a place where I could be on a 24/7 Spring Break and have no accountability for my actions. For 3 years in Costa Rica I drank, snorted and smoked everything I could afford with the paychecks I was getting and still pay rent. I surrounded myself with people that would never criticize my lifestyle as they were living the same way. I built myself a castle of glass that shattered and came crashing down when I almost died followed up with my 3 month stay in the hospital.
After the hospital, piece by piece I began putting my life back together without alcohol and drugs. I was starting from ground zero and had a long way to go to be whole again. When you are close to death you realize that this is the only life you get and if you are not happy doing what you are doing, then it is time for a change. Following your dreams and having passion for life each and every day is all that matters. Well that and always treating others with respect.
I saw as I lay on that hospital bed that I was not a person that anyone really wanted to be around. I was so full of myself and for no reason. What had I accomplished in life other than drinking away all of my talent and wasting my intelligence on remedial jobs where I could skate by on using a brain filled with toxins? The answer was nothing, and yet I thought I was the king of the universe because those people around me had the brain power of a wet fart. Super. I was the smartest of the dumbasses. What a great way to go through life. The thing was, that I would have killed to have more than just 2 or 3 people come to visit me while laying in that hospital bed alone. The problem was that after the party ended, so did their desire to be around me. People will only tolerate assholes if they are getting something out of the situation.
But I had been give a second chance, another shot to try to turn things around in my life. After fighting through months of recovery; teaching my legs and muscles to walk again and not fainting after sitting up for 45 seconds, I had to start following my dreams and my passion…but what was it that I truly wanted to do?
Down in Costa Rica I have the ability to try to live life on my own terms and put together what my idea of living the dream is. I thought growing up that the entire purpose of life was making as much money as possible, marrying a beautiful woman, getting a house and sending the kids to private school, and working at a job that offered security. But what kind of life is that? What happens when you are 60 years old and realize that all of those things that you wanted to do never came to fruition?
I was no longer going to live my life with regrets. I was going to do what I wanted to do and not care what anyone else thought. Everyone has their opinion on how you should be living and not one of those opinions is yours. What are those people basing their thoughts on? What society and the media say happiness is? I tried living the life that society said happiness was and I was not all that happy. I had been trying to please everyone in my life except myself, while allowing people to take advantage of my good heart. Each time that I would try to help someone in Costa Rica; it would end up causing me pain in the long term. I was tired of picking myself up while giving support to others following their dreams. It was time to follow mine.
I had basically given up on dating in the Jaco/Hermosa area due to the fact that it seemed that 80% of the girls I met were hookers in one way or another. I was specific on what I was looking for; someone over 30 years old, no kids, had a job (not one laying on their back), and attractive. This was like going unicorn hunting in Costa Rica. I had several Costa Rican friends say that there are tons of girls like this. However, there is one problem. They are not looking for gringos because it is seen in the eyes of Costa Rican society that if a Tica is with a gringo it is because of money or that she is a prostitute. Both of those reasons are not really how a girl wants to be seen. Considering the fact that I did not have that much money and every girl I met seemed to have at least 1 child, I gave up on trying to meet someone.
Living a life of solitude as an introvert that does not party anymore is quite depressing. Everyone needs companionship in their life and I needed that as well as responsibility for something other than myself. I did the one thing that I could think of that would solve both those problems. I got a puppy.
After seeing Labradors pop up on a Facebook page, I decided that it was time to take that leap. After picking up Bella for the first time I knew that I had made the right decision. Every day I had that unconditional love in my life. Not a bad trade off for cleaning up poop, paying for food, and losing a pair of shoes. I was happier every day and finally enjoying life. If I had a bad day I could just go play with Bella for about 10 to 15 minutes and it was all better.
All of this began to carry over into other parts of my life immediately. Strangely enough, I was getting looked at more by women (without the puppy in my arms) as I guess someone without a scowl on their face is more approachable. When it came to day to day life, more people wanted to be around me in general; probably for the same reason.
Then there was my professional life. I do not know if I can account this to getting a puppy, but I was more focused on my own dreams and although there were set backs they did not seem insurmountable anymore. Yes, I was still about 2 months out from getting everything going but financially the money coming in was doing so more consistently. I had a feeling of peace that I had not had inside me for a long time. It was a feeling that led me to believe I would know that one day soon I would get to the light at the end of the tunnel and it was not an oncoming train. Was this all due to getting a dog? I had no idea, but I was finally finding my smile again.
Next Up –A Pleasant Surprise