I’ve spent the past few years of my life convincing myself to not let time define me. To not let the span of a year be the definition of my self progress on any level. To keep moving forward and to keep growing. I hold strong to my notion to not let the days on the calendar or the hands on the clock guide me with any hold. Too much time has been wasted on measurements – on simple measure of times in which we as humans have zero control over.
BUT….All of that goes out the window for this year that has just passed! It has been quite a significant year to not consider noteworthy. This past year has probably been one of the most life changing years of my life and has shaped me into the person I strongly feel I am today – whom was a very different person just 366 short but sometimes very long days ago.
Living on the island of Maui, Hawaii the year before peace corps was pure bliss. Beach by day and bonfire by night – just mentally preparing myself the best I could to board a plane and leave behind everything I had done – which at the time felt like not much. I learned I didn’t have to depend on anyone for a glass of happiness…I myself was the creator of that glass. It was difficult leaving that island even as the new independently happy person I grew to be, but I was ready to put purpose to my life.
Little did I know that sometimes here in Costa Rica as a peace corps volunteer and sometimes as a human in general, I had never felt so purposeless. Don’t worry that is just the Peace Corps roller coaster speaking 😉 but in all seriousness, there are days where I ask myself “what the hell am I doing here and why?” Some things really frustrate me, some things make me cry, some things are incomprehensible, and some things just make me feel like I can’t wait to get out of here. But those are the bad days….the really bad days. The good thing about those bad days….? They make me appreciate the heck out of the good days.
Some days I make progress with a community relationship or a project. Some days I spend all day gossiping with 70 year olds. Some days I come home and just can’t stop smiling. When everyone shouts my name when I walk down the street it makes be feel like I belong there. One thing for sure is that Every day I amaze myself more and more with my Spanish. Some days are days full of work and I feel accomplished and some days are full of nothing but I still feel accomplished because me days are so important (aka force myself to write blog). Some days I feel lazy and useless and then I have to kick myself in the butt and force myself to go play soccer and sweat a bit!
I’ve learned so much about myself and so much about other people this last year. People – no matter their culture – will always be people. They have all the possibilities in the world. They can bring out the good in your life or they can bring out the bad. I really have never felt so loved by my host family here and I will forever be indebted in love and caring to them. The youth here are probably one of the most important things to me. Just believing in them and enjoying the silly relationships but sometimes very serious relationships we have come to be. Those are the good. And the bad, well we don’t need to get into that but let’s just say something i am learning is to not be so sensitive. As the tico’s say here “no haga caso” which basically means don’t let it bother you or don’t make a big deal out of it. This may or may not be my personal slogan right now. 🙂
Life has been good the past year. It has passed so quickly I can hardly believe it. I can hardly believe I will be turning 25 here in a couple months. Where does the time go!? Well….it just goes….that’s what happens! It disappears into thin air and we have no physical means in reproducing the time we have already lost. Every day here is a day gained for me. A day where I learn more, see more, meet more people. It’s all a plus. So I can’t focus on what I’ve lost – including the time. The minutes and hours and days will always be disappearing- what’s important is how you fill those moments and in the end – the person who comes out smiling from it all.
I don’t know what the next year will entail and I definitely do not know my plan after peace corps. Right now I am just soaking up the moments. Sometimes I hope it passes quickly so I can get back and start my life and sometimes I hope it passes slowly so i can enjoy the little time I have left with my community.
I miss you all so much and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your amazing support this past year.