Lately I've been imagining what life could be like when I return to Tennessee. It's more of a daydream than a plan. I still have more than 6 months before I have to think about details. Costa Rica has taught me that these things will work out when the time comes.
I see myself living in a small house. Odd, because I've always thought I'd be an apartment-dweller, a sort of modern-day nomad, never tied to a piece of property. But the idea of a little place of my own is starting to grow on me. Nothing extravagant. I want a home-base, not a burden. I'd like a garden. I've always enjoyed that hobby, though I've had varying success with it. After last week, I consider a hammock to be an essential addition to the house. I don't need much else. I've learned that I can survive in the simplest of abodes.
There's a dog in this picture. Again, this is strange to me, because I've never considered having a pet before. But I've made friends with several dogs during my time here, and I can see how they are good companions. I am otherwise unattached in my vision. This is nothing new. I've enjoyed bachelor life for many years now, and I don't foresee a change. Many people boggle at the concept of a man that neither has nor seeks a partner. I don't know how to explain it other than I'm happier single than as part of a couple.
But in my image, I'm not really alone. I'm no hermit. I'm surrounded by friends and family. In fact, I see myself spending my days at the family business, which will grow in the coming months and years. We will have our own building, rather than the current rented space. My mom will run a general store in the front, a slightly larger version of what she has now, including more local arts and crafts. My brother-in-law will help her, as he has been. My dad and I will work the kitchen. He currently just does snacks and simple lunch items. I see a full restaurant with a big, comfortable dining area, perhaps even including a porch overlooking the river. We'll provide homecooked meals and give people a place to commune and enjoy good company. My sister would be an excellent hostess. And my nieces and nephews will stop by to help out in the afternoons.
What does any of this have to do with teaching English in Costa Rica? Not much. At least, not directly. But it reflects a change in attitude that lead to my time here, and a change in values based on the lifestyles I've encountered. Seven years ago, I was sure that in order to have a good life, I had to do something that sounded impressive. I was concerned with how other people would view my achievements. I worried about salary and job titles. I compared myself to others, looking for approval and outward signs of success, rather than seeking my own happiness.
That didn't work for me. So I'm willing to let a daydream guide me for awhile. I'd like to see where it leads.
Labels: costa rica