Well, I have officially hit the two week mark since returning from Costa Rica, and life in the good ol' U.S. of A. has been a little rough.
I can't quite put a finger on it. When I lived in Spain during college, they always warned about culture shock, saying it was normal to feel a little blue and misunderstood by your family and friends after living abroad for so many months. But, good lord, I was only in Costa Rica for 8 days!
But something has definitely been off.
Not to be a total Debbie Downer, but my neck and back haven't helped the situation any. I've dealt with neck and back problems for over 5 years now, and for the past month I've gone days at a time where I can't move my neck to the left without excruciating pain.
So I guess it goes without saying that I've been a little bummed, a little blue, in need of an understanding ear.
But at the same time, I know I'm a lucky gal, blessed with a fabulously supportive husband and great friends and family. So this too shall pass. It has to. Really, it's like physics or something. Whatever goes up must come down.
In the midst of my internal woes, I have been plugging away at work...traveling, meeting new people and building interesting new relationships. It's almost like dating, except imagine going on 7 or 8 blind dates a week.
Not really dates, but you know what I mean. I meet new people every week and sit with them for an hour or so talking about their lives, reminiscing about their time at UT and asking them how they got where they are today.
And today I met a genuinely nice gentleman who shared something that really made me think.
He said that we live in a country of great privilege, where the majority of the things we do are because we "want" to, not because we "have" to. He challenged me to think about it, to really ponder the statement.
His example was taking care of an elderly parent or going to work. He said that at some point it's easy to become resentful of responsibilities you choose to take on in your life, but that once you recognize it is your choice and not something that is mandated over you like life or death, your perspective changes.
I'm still not sure if it's soaked in fully or if I completely buy in. But it made me think.
And you know I love to think...
I choose this life here. It makes sense, and there is promise of growth and happiness to come through the struggle. I don't always understand why I'm on this path, but I have played a major role in choosing it, and it does no good to blame anyone else or start feeling sorry for myself now.
So this is me. Choosing to be back in the states. Choosing to work my butt off to keep a positive attitude...or at least try. Choosing to find zen within me instead of in my environment. And choosing to not let money or the illusion of the American Way define my sense of fulfillment.
It may sound corny, but I pretty much have to give it a try. Otherwise, here I am, flailing on the floor, wasting time pining over a reality that isn't mine right now.
My "Costa Rica" has to be found within. And it can't be affected by other people. It has to be a constant, a sense of balance within me.
So here I go.
I'll probably be flailing and crying tomorrow cursing my momentary glimpse of clarity, but that's just me.
And I accept that.
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