Before I get into my short lived “relationship” with a Costa Rica working girl, I wanted to go into thoughts I had before attempting to erase my ex by getting into a destined to fail union.
As much as a person believes and tries to convince themselves that they are “ok” without the touch or interaction of romantic involvement in their life, it steps outside a human’s basic needs to try to live like that. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, belonging (friends, spouse, family, lover) follows only our physiological (food, water, shelter, warmth) and safety needs (security, stability, freedom from fear).
When you really look at this in depth you can understand life in general and why we do what we do. I know as I started to look through Maslow’s triangle this morning that it really hit home to decisions I had made in my life and in understanding the decisions of people that had crossed my path. I guess that is one reason I am writing about my experiences – to help me find closure and peace with life. What sometimes seems like incomprehensible decisions, actually make the most sense in the world in the minds of those making them, and if these decisions are broken down in Maslow’s terms, it can help to understand a person’s actions as well as your own.
For the longest time I was barely scraping by in Costa Rica. Living paycheck to paycheck no matter where you are in the world makes life stressful. I had to think about where next month’s rent would come from as most jobs in Costa Rica can disappear without warning. Going to the store to purchase a new pair of shoes was a big decision. Living life like that and having all that worry in the back of your mind (can I afford rent this week or should I eat rice and beans in order to pay for electricity?) is not a good feeling and perpetuates anger inside you. On a day to day basis I would ask myself why is it that no matter how hard I work that I cannot get ahead.
I had quit drinking and now had my head on straight but still getting that feeling of safety and security was lacking in my life. I felt like any day I could be booted onto the street if I had a bad month. However, every month I managed to scrape together the funds to get by and pay for my basic needs. It truly made me understand why poverty leads to crime. It is not because in most cases these people are bad, are just in need of food, water, shelter and things required to live. They are stealing to feed themselves and their children.
Looking back on the time where it was a battle to make rent and pay bills, it also helped me understand that stability and financial security are so important and why they affect people’s decisions in their lives. I worked all my jobs on straight commission, which means a bad month means little to no money, but it also means I get out what I put into my job and with that comes a sense of freedom and control. This type of job is not for many people. While working in both the USA and Costa Rica, many just want that guaranteed paycheck at the end of each week. They want to know that each Friday they are going to get that check. They want to know that exact amount of money that is going to hit their account. It is why so many people stay in the same job that they do not enjoy for years. That feeling of security and being able to provide for your physiological needs keeps you in that Monday through Friday mundane job.
This also gave me closure on Priscilla marrying someone for financial security. Working as a teacher in Costa Rica with a new baby is very hard being that most teachers in Costa Rica make only about $800 to $1200 a month depending on how many years they have in the school system. I could not imagine having to raise a child, pay a mortgage, and pay for car repairs, pay for pediatrician visits, and everything else that comes with basically raising a child on her own with a husband in the USA. Getting the extra money from her husband each month to help support her and her child is understandable. It is something that she denied on a regular basis to me, but the truth is hard to hide forever. There were only two options…she was happy OR she was doing it for financial security. Perhaps it was both but when I saw her true fear before a visit from her husband, I would have to say that she was not happy. It gave me closure though in knowing that I was not able to provide her that at the time and it was not that I was not good enough for her.
After getting the projects I was working on going, (yes there were months where I would be pushing the edge but most months I knew all bills were going to be covered easily) buying a pair of shoes was not a big decision anymore. Life became more comfortable and relaxed. With this fear of being put on the street gone, my anger began to fade with it as well. This was not only visible to myself but to those around me. It is amazing how much you push away others with negativity and anger. Although you may try to show that you are happy on the outside, the internal battle that rages can be seen and felt by all those around you. If you are able to find that peace, then you can finally start taking the steps towards your own true happiness.
Once you find that peace two types of people will be drawn to you. The first are people that want to bring stress and drama into your life. They are unhappy and want you to remain unhappy as well. These are the ones that ask for your advice on drama in their lives which you give and which they have no desire to accept. They will try to make their problems yours. The only good thing about these people is that most of them give up if it is not affecting you and move on. Not letting them bring their negativity in your life can be hard especially if you have a good heart as you do want to help them. The thing is they really do not want your help.
The second type of person that will be drawn to you are those that are truly seeking peace in their lives. These are the people that you pushed away before because you were one of the people trying to bring your drama into their lives. These are the people you want to surround yourself with. They are the ones that are going to bring a sense of calm into your life and not the chaos of the first type of person. They are the ones that are going to make true friends and bring you a step closer to accomplishing Maslow’s third need…belonging.
Most of the time in Costa Rica the people that were around me were fair weather friends, except for a select group of about 3 or 4. They were there for me when I was destroying my life. They would always accept a free drink or were ready for a party. After my 3 month stint in the hospital, all of those people were gone from my life never to return. The last thing a party person wants to be around is someone that used to party with them and has gotten their life together. It shows them what they could do if they got drinking out of their life and most do not want to be around that. I know when I was a practicing alcoholic, the people that I hung around were not people that had quit drinking. I did not want to be shown that with a little self restraint I could improve my life as well.
I was now getting positive people in my life and not letting the drama of other people affect me anymore. The only thing that I was lacking was a woman’s touch to help me feel that sense of belonging. I was not ready for anything long term as I still had some previous feelings for Priscilla but I needed a rebound girl to help fill the void and mend my heart a little. This is the only way I was going to start to believe in love again and erase that feeling from Priscilla for good that I was not good enough.
I knew the decision I was making was not what I should be doing but I did it anyway. Needing that feeling of belonging and love I my life was something I needed even if I expressed to everyone that I was better alone. Getting into a relationship with a “working girl” gave me that opportunity. There was always a way out whenever I wanted to, all I had to say was “Sorry I just cannot date a prostitute.”
Next Up – Drama & Booty Calls