Circumstance Shows the Way
Monday, November 9th, 2009
Two years ago, I plunged into a monumental change by moving to Costa Rica. I left the U.S.A., committed to this new life, without much to fall back on, at least not as much as some, who take on this kind of venture. I kept my home – its rental provides a small income, but I sold my car and my business. I spent two years just getting by, earning a living in my former profession as a mural artist and with a new vocation as an ESL (English as a Second Language) instructor. My income was unpredictable but I loved my leisurely life in the tropics and Costa Rica culture. I lived frugally and it seemed to work out until problems occurred with my rentals back home. I needed to come up with a new plan. What a surprise it was, to find that circumstance would show me the way.
Moving to Costa Rica alone and with minimal Spanish speaking skills created some of the greatest challenges I have ever faced. All I could do was tell myself, “I can do this!” and push on. Crazy things happened – the day I bought my car the engine caught fire on a dangerous highway; for a while I lived in a big empty house and slept on the floor; one time I had the convertible top stolen from my car and had to make it back to San Jose, topless, before the rains started. Then there was the night I plodded through the pitch dark, muddy jungle in the pouring rain to the river and took a swim. Another task I took on was to talk the owner of a local hotel into hiring me, a person with no teaching experience, as an English teacher for his employees. The amount of learning, and new information input this produced was overwhelming. I kept online Costa Rica travel journals of my experiences in order to share with others and also to keep my own sanity. My readers responded enthusiastically and I kept on writing. This Costa Rica journey has led to the unexpected discovery that I can write!
This is new. I have never kept journals and the only story telling I’ve done is to my children when they were small. My enjoyment of this pursuit and my readers’ encouragement are my only compass in this uncharted territory. But why not? Others get paid to write, why not me? So now, I am going through one of the biggest, “I can do this!” moments in my life. The task has been intense.
I am starting with what I already have – my Costa Rica journals. And rather than take on the daunting chore of imploring a publisher to look at my writing, I am going it alone – self publishing online. The creation of an audio book was my first project, the idea sparked by my love for reading aloud and the desire to tell my stories personally. Two months of non stop, sixteen hour days produced a professional quality work that I am proud of. My next project was to make an eBook of my Costa Rica experiences, for people to read on their computer. I packed it full of photos to show the fascinating folks and stunning scenery I’ve discovered. It was another gratifying accomplishment. I know I am headed in the right direction because I love this labor. I’ve been working day and night for four months, with hardly a break, to launch a writing career and my enthusiasm is soaring! Now that my book is complete I’ll continue my travel tales online, with more pictures and stories. I’ve even come up with some new Costa Rica travel tips and ways to share my tropical world. You’ll see them soon.
Another surprise, arising from my vida nueva (new life) has shown up, expressed in the title of my book, “If She Can Do It, so Can I !”. It has become a work of inspiration. The continual occurrence of obstacles falling in front of me forced me to take on the motto – even mantra – of “I can do this.” As I looked to my own life and the lives of others for support, people began to look to me and a full circle of encouragement and inspiration has been formed. I believe this happened as a result of my ongoing and sincere desire to contribute to the world and do something to make it a better place. Little did I know that it would come back as a benefit to me. But isn’t that how they say it goes? What comes around, goes around.
And I plan to keep it going. From the start, I’ve invited my readers to send me their questions, comments and advice. I have answered every single one personally and I will continue to. I need you, my readers, here with me. I would never have been able to write without knowing there was someone “out there” who was listening. So please, keep in touch. Tell me about the trip you have planned and ask anything you like. I don’t know everything about Costa Rica but I’ve got a lot of experience to share. And I’m going to get more! I’m going to make this vida nueva work for me. I am going to make my dreams come true! How about you?