Sunday, December 26, 2010
2010. What an amazing year it's been...I found my dream job teaching English in a beach town in Costa Rica. I perfected my Spanish skills to the point where I can now instruct others on how to speak the beautiful latin language. I fell in love with an amazingly sweet tico man and we created a great life together. I worked on my cooking skills, made beach art, discovered new ways of thinking and expressing myself, saw uncountable gorgeous sunsets, and traveled making visa runs to Nicaragua and back to the U.S. I enjoyed a lot of free time and I also put in a lot of time and energy into creating the English program in Santa Teresa and Montezuma. I made new friends and reunited with old ones, and I also saw tons of family that I hadn't seen in years at my cousin's wedding to which I was blessed to make it. I met my long lost half brother that I never knew I had, which in itself was an incredible experience. And finally, to top it all of, I got to spend Christmas relaxing and celebrating with my familia here in Atlanta. For all of this and more, I am grateful. My life is filled with love and joy and prosperity on many levels, and although things aren't always perfect, I am so thankful for all that I have and I truly believe the best way to be is optimistic so I'm counting my blessings!
The turn of the new year is a good time for reflection as well as setting new goals, and sometimes we are too busy to take the time to meditate on what it is we've learned, where it is we've been, and where we're headed. This year I'm making a point to do just that. It's been a year of self exploration in many ways for me, a new country, new job, new language, so many new experiences...and I have learned so much. My only regret is that I didn't journal more about all of my feelings and thoughts. I was doing pretty well with the blog at first, but that too ended up fading into the background at the end of the year. So, one of my goals for the new year is to keep up with my journal and maybe keep this blog going too...or maybe start another, more personal blog to post more inspirational ideas. But one step at a time!
To summarize some of my personal reflections...a few things I've been thinking about and plan to continue working on in 2011: practicing good health, conscious awareness of destructive patterns in order to transform them into positive habits, and allotment of time for personal space for meditation/creativity, allowing my inner femme fatal her self expression;) My health is generally very good but it's always important to keep it in the forefront. Maintain the vibrant life force with good nutrition and proper exercise. Oh, and lots of sunshine! Gotta love that free vitamin D! I've always been a slacker when it comes to exercise and I know this...but it's becoming more important to kick my ass into gear, so yes, like so many other people out there, I'm setting workout goals for the new year. Secondly I've been trying to work on bringing my awareness to any negative behavioral patterns or unhealthy reactions that come up in my daily life, recognize the tendencies I have and recognize it when they happen, and then to try to shift my mind state into a more positive space. The key here I believe is to be brutally honest but also be super gentle with yourself, and with those who are closest to you and act as mirrors of your behavior. Springing from the basic practice of turning of negative thoughts into positive affirmations...and taking that same adjustment work to other energetic and mental tendencies. And the last thing I mentioned, which is perhaps the most important, is the setting aside of personal time to reflect and express, to nurture my spirit and rejoice in my connection with the divine, and to just be...breathing, happy, whole. This is such an important meditation...so simple yet so easy to forget in the mix of everyday life. And even when you're living a tranquilo life at the beach...it's funny how your day gets filled with basic tasks and work and friends and food and suddenly a week has gone by without 15 minutes of breath and silence! So, there are some achievable goals, fit for the soul, for the ever-evolving me in 2011.
On a lighter note...my semester of English classes came to an end just about a week and a half ago with final exams and I am so proud of all of my students! They have truly improved their skills with the language and I feel so good about the impact I have made. But I'm also really stoked to be able to stay and work with them again in 2011, because I have got to get them speaking more. If there is one thing that they still need to get over their fear about, it's speaking, and I finally figured out some new techniques of translation practice with simple conversation that seems to be working quite well. I plan to keep it up in the new year and hopefully get everybody's confidence up to speak more fluidly. Teaching is great, a lot of fun, challenging and creative at the same time, and I'm constantly learning new things. I'm considering continuing teaching English or possibly Spanish in the future when I return to the states. It's a wonderful profession.
Right now I'm in Atlanta for a few more days of vacation and then I will return to Costa Rica just in time for New Years Eve (YAY Fiesta!!!) Unfortunately, my boyfriend and I are moving AGAIN when I get back, but hopefully this will be the last time! The last time I blogged we were living in a sweet vacation house that a friend was care-taking, but that was only for the rainy season, and in the beginning of November we relocated to a small but sweet apartment more in the center of town. It's been a great little spot, close to everything, it came with a lovely cat (who I think actually belongs to a neighbor a few doors down but she spends a lot of time on our patio), and we've met a lot of neighbors who have become good friends there. We are on the same side street as the big SuperMercado, which is convenient, and right across the street from one of the most beautiful beach spots in Santa. Check out the view from under the palms above ^^^
But like I said, we are moving again, which is due to a sanitary issue I'd prefer not to discuss here (let's just say the bathroom stinks more often than it should), but we are so lucky that we have found a perfect place to move into and it's just a few houses up the same side street on the same block. Good thing, because I sold the car so we don't have an easy way to move everything at once. The new place is bigger and has a nice front porch and we are super excited because we will be sharing the place with my favorite little NYC transplant Trinity ;) She was living in Montezuma and Santa Teresa earlier this year and we became the best of friends. Then she left for the rainy season, but she's coming back for at least the next 6 months. What a treat it will be to have my girlie here again to kick it with! And get this: just a day before we were leaving ST for the holidays, we weren't sure what we were going to do about our living situation, because the house we were looking at was occupied until the 7th and our current landlord wasn't happy with our moving plans...but it just so happens that the current inhabitants are some rad friends of ours who offered to let us move in a week early to help us get out of our current leasing agreement (gotta give up the whole month of January), how nice is that! So it all feels kind of like a miracle, everything is coming together beautifully as it always does here. Ah, sweet Costa Rica...life always seems to fall perfectly into place in your luscious lands <3
Hasta Pronto! Espero que todos pasaron un Feliz Navidad!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!