I sit around a table at an outdoor bar at sunset, enjoying a glass of white wine. I am joined by friends and friends of friends. I pause and take in the view of my surroundings – Everyone is engaged in conversation and big smiles are plastered on each of their beautiful faces. This gathering could be confused with a United Nations meeting as there are so many different countries represented (Australia, The UK, Holland, Costa Rica and The United States). I feel so grateful to be in the presence of so many cultures, as if I might become more worldly simply by osmosis. Maybe I will be!
I’m not quite sure how this happened, but I have gotten to know many people in this town already, to the point that when I walk the streets I inevitably am met with waves and ‘Hello’s’ from several of the locals along my way. Is this real life? I live in a magical Rainforest with beautiful beaches and friendly people who want to spend time with me just as I am? In fact, one person told me that I have an incredibly positive energy and a ‘light’ around me. What a lovely thing to hear! I think I might even believe it.
As if it couldn’t be further confused with heaven, another thing I’ve noticed about this place is that time does not exist. In my culture (The United States) we are very much defined by time, schedules and plans. (There aren’t enough hours in the day. Too much time is taken up by waiting in line. Someone is stressed out because they are running late to a meeting, etc. etc.) In Costa Rica, it is recognized that time is simply a measurement that humans invented as a form of communication, but it ends there. Lives aren’t defined by it. No one is at the mercy of the positioning of hands on a clock. Instead the quality of life is the main focus and everything else falls into place around this important value.
Speaking of plans, those are also much less strict compared to what I was used to in The States, which is something that I never realized I would be so incredibly content about. I remember when I first came to Manuel Antonio and met Cynthia a few months ago. She and I discussed attending a barbecue at her friend’s house the following afternoon. I tentatively planned to pick her up in the jeep at noon. When I called her the next day, she informed me that she didn’t feel like going after all. Just like that – plans cancelled. However instead of being irritated, I was elated. People here seem to do what they want when they want. How awesome is that?! After all, I would much rather spend time with someone in a genuine way than with someone who was doing so out of obligation. Unfortunately, when I lived in the USA, I was so overly-scheduled (like everyone else) that I was forced to make plans days or even weeks in advance. If I didn’t feel up to spending time with the person or wanted an evening to myself when the time finally arrived, it was too bad for me because ‘bailing’ is considered very bad form. Imagine that! Looking out for oneself is considered a negative – no wonder I was scared to be myself for so long…so many little things like this were sending me the message that putting my own needs above the possibility of offending someone was considered ‘selfish.’
I believe Oscar Wilde said it best: “Selfishness is not living your life as you wish, it is asking others to live their lives as you wish.” Touché, Oscar. Touché, indeed.
[For those of you who enjoy this blog because of the picture-esque descriptive qualities of my day-to-day activities (which this post was clearly lacking), please enjoy actual pictures below!]
My Bed (with mosquito net) at the Buddhist hostel.
Of course I had to take advantage of the hostel’s outdoor Yoga studio!
One of the best coffees I’ve ever had at ‘Bread and Chocolate’ in downtown PV.
Due to the fact that my studio isn’t ready yet, Regina (the owner of the land) is allowing me to stay in this massive, three bedroom apartment for the time being.
As soon as I arrived at my new digs and began to feel a bit lonely, a cat from next door wandered in and began to nuzzle me. Thank you, Universe…you take such good care of me!
Watching The World Cup: Costa Rica v. England
Lunch with friends at ‘La Boatnica Organica’ in Playa Chiquita.
First trip to the PV farmer’s market where I got plenty of veggies, fruit, fresh tofu and homemade greek yogurt.
No, I am not a vegetarian. I was equally turned on by this.