A Necessary Catharsis

It’s been a couple months since my partner, my chihuahua and I landed in Costa Rica to start our new life. So far, things have been fantastic, yet of course not without their challenges.

I’d have to characterize my first two months in Costa Rica as being confusing, cathartic and cleansing. A ride through my life that wasn’t easy, but certainly one I am glad I have stepped into.

My time began with having to work through some serious baggage that I brought with me from my life in Canada; the type of baggage that didn’t cost me extra fees with the airline, but turned out to be the heaviest amongst all I packed.

I left Canada because I was generally dissatisfied with how life was going for myself and knew that there was “something” that needed to be added to bring me beyond the status quo life I found myself trapped in. At the same time, I had spent a decade in a city in which I faced some of the hardest times of my life – losing my father to cancer, a pretty hurtful relationship, parting ways from not one, but two employers, and feeling an overall sense of defeat that I couldn’t have done better to make London a better place, due to my own inabilities or various structural or interpersonal roadblocks.

Shedding those years that I thought I had left behind me was painful, yet necessary. I lashed out a bit, veiled my hurt in tough criticisms for a location and people that had caused me personal pain, and in the process hashed out some relationships, feelings and most importantly was given the space and the opportunity to reflect on what I wanted from making this move. It wasn’t easy, it was sometimes ugly, but important.

It’s my every day struggle to work through my feelings of leaving my “old life” while making a new life somewhere completely different, doing something else. I am living the dream that I always loved in movies where people would pack up all their belongings and “start fresh” somewhere, and truthfully, it has been wonderful to be in a place where I have no history except the one I am going to be making here. I seriously cannot wait for all that Costa Rica has in store for me, and I am absolutely thrilled with what it has put in my path so far.

As I shed those negative things that happened in my previous years, I find that I still have baggage to carry, but the burden is getting a little less heavy. I’m having the space to focus and so sweetly cherish those things that bring me joy and pleasure and rays of positivity, and readjust what I carry with me. As I shed the heavy stuff, I am able to feel that what I still have with me are absolute treasures that I brought with me from my old life into my new.

As I shift what I hold within me, I recognize where I can bring the strong parts of my previous career and all I learned in so many areas into a new, fresh career in which I am the owner of two businesses. As I make new friends, I realize how ever-present my existing strong friendships with some of the most incredible women and men in the world are and how they will forever be a part of me. These are the people whose friendships transcend distance and time: the ones I know who will be part of my pack forever. I have a mother and two sisters who have supported me through all of life’s ups and downs: my adventures, my travels, my successes, my breakdowns (all the breakdowns!). They’ve listened to all my plans and have cheered me on throughout it all, and have showed unwavering support. Most of all, I have the man beside me who is my partner in this journey through Costa Rica and life. We were both passers through in the same city who happened to have their eyes meet, came together, and planned their “escape plan” making some of their dreams (and some new ones) come true and together realizing new ones.  These are the things, and people, who will be a part of me forever.

Being the sensitive woman I am, I have a lot of sore spots when I think about my old life, I am still yet to fully heal, but I can feel some healing happening every day. I feel a bit of the sadness and disappointment every day about some of my regrets. The sore spots getting smaller yet are still present, yet without those sore spots, and being able to fully feel them, I don’t think I would have had the motivation to change my life, change my surroundings, and infuse the sense of wonder, adventure and exploration I had been longing for in my life for a while now.

Now that I am in a new environment, I am able to see new sides of life; the sides of life that I knew I wanted to see, but just couldn’t get access to in my old life whether it be due to my own limitations or just being in an environment that wasn’t my “forever home”. I am able to see how people live, believe and exist differently, yet always revel in the shared traits of our humanity, no matter where we are from. I wouldn’t say there is anything better or worse than this life, it’s simply just different, and I am so excited to be experiencing new and different things each day. I am appreciating finding some of the things I was looking for here in Costa Rica – warmth and sunshine, incredible landscapes, adventurous opportunities and wonderful people, and most of all, a simple and uncomplicated life. This is exactly what I needed.

Every day, every trip, and every big move I make in my life, I will carry with me all the people, lessons, and opportunities I have had with me; I’ll also pick up new experiences, meet new people, and new ideas about life, and this will require me to shift what I carry as I change focus and destinations.

For now, I’ll allow Costa Rica to impact me, to shape me, and to determine how my life will go, for now, and which pieces of me I’ll carry with me into my future.

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