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On To Something Big

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.