A personal post about a dream that turned into reality and then into a different dream. Because in life you’ve got to have a plan B.
A few weeks ago Barry and I both realized we were living out our dreams again. He was recently appointed a position with the U.S. National Park Service in a vast, forested countryside in a little known National Park near the border area of the U.S. and Canada and I was about to get my second paycheck from a writing job. His new four day a week schedule allows him the privilege of photographing an entirely different ecosystem while getting paid to work in the great outdoors. I get to craft, what I hope to be, interesting descriptions of some of the most tedious conversations you’ve never heard of with my new freelance copywriting stint.
The mildly wretched part is we were considering these victories over the phone from approximately 3000 miles apart. As the triumphant expression on both of our faces floated into nothingness the elation was still discernible in our voices. These days, I notice our conversations taking a turn towards “Well, goodnight wife” and “ok, goodnight husband”. These salutations no longer lead up to a kiss before bed but a polite way to not have to say “I know this is hard but I’m getting hungry” or the equivalent, based on the required evening chores of our distant lands.
At home, I admit to enjoying some personal contemplation time but we are not even a quarter through the season and I am already seeking attention from other sources as is evident in the spike of comments I’ve made on the social medias and my casually walking into local stores without the need to purchase anything. Yesterday, I told a guy in a leg cast to step up his pace just to get a smile from a stranger. Luckily for me, our dogs can’t seem to get enough of my jokes. It may be a long 3 months.
It seems our celebratory 2015 is the culmination of many years of taking the necessary steps of moving towards what we believe to be right and just for ourselves. Basically, what we have been able to live with and still have the semblance of a happy heart.
In May, we acquired the much needed and sought after Permanent Residency status in Costa Rica. Until last month the ability to live in our near perfect house on our Eden like farm was an uncertainty. Costa Rican immigration laws require a “green card” (for lack of a better description) of those who wish to swim in it’s life giving waters for more than 90 days. It was a 5 year passion project which required paperwork for this, proof of that and annual approvals, which were only obtained if you pretended to be one step closer to fluent Spanish. Paradise has a set price and believe me, it’s more than just the money. We are now able to live in CR full time without any other proof that we are worthy.
If you are familiar with our journey you might be wondering about our dreams of photography workshops on our treasure filled land mass. We will continue to have workshops but only for six months out of each year, October – March. Our five year experience has taught us that much like the popular ‘fear factor’ based television programs, there are more people willing to watch the creepy crawlies of nature from afar than there are people willing to participate in the joy of wrangling said creatures. After analyzing our visitor data it seems that all of our guests came during the above time frame anyway. Scaling our business to 6 months a year will allow us some down time for our individual work projects and to do the necessary maintenance a property of this size requires.
When it all boils down I see the crystals of our original idea and think of how pretty they are. But when the crowd is looking for the sea and you only have the salt of the earth you revise your plan. We are putting the crystals back in the glass, adding some liquid and shaking things up until a new idea settles. In the meantime, we’ll be filling up our coffers.
It is clear to me that our challenges and subsequent triumphs did not come from sitting idle. The things we have in our lives that matter were birthed from tough choices and determination. I don’t doubt that the universe has smiled on us, maybe undeservingly so, but we appreciate all our lives have morphed into. Possibly these new endeavors will support our desire to make more visits to family and friends in different climates and round out our perceived Shangri-La.
Sometimes the truth hurts. And sometimes it feels real good. – Henry Rollins