On To Something Big

On To Something Big

CRHouseMy friend Molly Barker says when she feels both fear and joy in the same moment, she knows she’s on to something big.   I know exactly what she means.

On the day I left for Costa Rica, I couldn’t stop tearing up in the USAirways Lounge.  It had started at home, when I said goodbye to my perennially entertaining cats, and it had just kept on coming.  I pretended to have a cold when my fellow travelers in the lounge began to stare.

Uprooting my life to spend 6 months in Costa Rica sounded so inspiring during the months of planning.  Just the thought of it made me relaxed and filled of joy.  Until about a week out, when my long-dreamt-of sabbatical suddenly filled me with fear.  As moving day approached and I ticked off each item on my to-do list, I developed a low-grade dread, with “What have I done?” constantly running through my mind.

I have a great life.  Some might even call it cushy.  Perched in a cool uptown condo, with plenty of yoga and sushi within reach, I have amazing friends who inspire and challenge me every day.  I have a beautiful car, reliable electricity, hot and cold running water and, until recently, a steady pay check.

And Wi-Fi?  Who needs that when you have 4G?

Where I am going, the roads are unpaved and pot-holed, the earthquakes humbling and the electricity spotty.  I’ll be twenty minutes from a Supermarket and un-motorized for the first time since 10th Grade.  I’ll have to watch for iguanas on my front porch and scorpions in my shoes.   I will keep my flashlight handy for outages and walks down the un-lit road after sunset.  The howler monkeys in the trees outside my bedroom window will be my alarm clock.  I’ll spend most days in 90-degree heat with little air conditioning, searching for Wi-Fi to check my ever-dwindling bank account.

Yet, as frightening as it is, something is driving me to leave my comfortable, predictable existence and see if there is something I haven’t seen before.  An unexpected joy, perhaps, that can be hard to find in a world full of dependable routine.  It’s time to shake things up, redefine myself and see the stars at night.

So, I wiped off the tears, got on the plane and wrote “writer” under “profession” on the immigration form.  A few days later, when my landlord handed me the keys to my casita in Nosara, I found myself weeping with joy.


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