Category: Stories

Learning about Friendships

Hey Everybody,

I have been doing a lot of thinking about how to be a better friend. I found that I am not good at showing friends appreciation and love. It got me thinking about my friends from home. I have a few friends at home. I don’t talk to most of them except occasionally. I used to talk to them more when our lives where not so different. Now we have jobs, and lives separate from each other. When we get so busy working our crazy jobs or have a life that keeps us apart it makes it hard to talk. Part of me thinks that if we are friends we should reach out even just to say hey how are you, yet this doesn’t happen except one way. It gets hard to send messages and get no replies or a reply months later. It takes a lot of energy and time to try to reach out when there is no feedback except when their lives are free.

So, I wonder… is there something wrong with me? Why do “my friends” not seem to respond or want to hang out other than once every three to four month? Why do other people seem to have an abundance of friends who they go on trips with and hang out on a regular basis and I don’t? What is there for me to learn from all this? What can I do to be a better friend? A friend that people want to hang out with and go places with. I can definitely say I am in a much better place than I was 5 years ago. I have learned a lot about friendship and still have a long way to go.

I was on Facebook this afternoon and realized that people who have friends who are close send shout outs to their friends in a show of appreciation. I don’t really do this. I have trouble telling my close friends what they mean to me. For birthday wishes, it’s just a happy birthday have a great day. When it should be a more loving and appreciative wish to them.

Recently, my neighbors have made comments about how they like me and such. As they would say things like that I could notice I never said anything about liking them and appreciating how awesome they are and how much I will miss them when they leave in a week. A true friend would want to share with the world how awesome the best friends are. I tell the world how awesome my fiancé is so why can’t I do that with my best and close friends?

As a part of my journey of becoming my better self I am going to push myself to be appreciative of my friends and see what happens.

To start this off right now… Evelin, is an amazing friend of mine. Despite having a crawling baby and a full-time job she makes time to talk with me and see how I am doing. She shares what’s going on in her life with me from the small things like the fruit she ate that day to the big things like the baby starting to crawl. We met when we worked at Claire’s in July 2010 and have been friends since. Even after I left Claire’s we made time to have lunch or chat on the phone. The last two years we have grown closer and I appreciate all the things we have gone through. I loved being there when her water broke and the baby was born. I loved being able to talk about breakups and lows we are having with life. I felt so blessed to have her in my life. I have learned so much from her. Even though I am in Costa Rica and she is in Maryland, I feel close to her. We talk at least twice a week and send photos and videos to each other. The other day I was on an adventure to a town nearby. While I was on the bus we were texting about her part time job she just got and a man got on the bus and started speaking to the whole bus. Since it was in Spanish I had no idea what he was saying. I told her and she said to message her a recording of him and she would translate (she speaks Spanish). I sent her the recording and she translated. He was preaching some bible stuff. These are the times I love and appreciate about my friendship with her. Out of all my friends, she is one of the only friends who reaches out and makes an effort. I appreciate the effort and love I feel from her on a daily basis. It is amazing to have a best friend like her!

Thank you, Evelin for everything that you do. I love you and our friendship! To many more years of growth and love!

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New Things

 

IMG_5902HEY!

I am super pumped about my cooking skills today! After a day at the beach, I came home and made some homemade gnocchi with Gorgonzola cheese sauce! My kitchen was a huge mess when I was done. Yet, the love an energy I put into the dish was well worth the mess. I have been wanting to have some gnocchi. The Italian place here doesn’t have any so I googled a recipe. I found that the gnocchi required 3 ingredients, potatoes, flour, and egg. I had all of those so I was set to go except the sauce. I googled sauces for gnocchi. I found a Gorgonzola cheese sauce recipe that was similar to the best gnocchi I had in Canada a month ago. The recipe called for heavy whipping cream, white wine, Gorgonzola cheese, and Parmesan cheese, and water. I had to do some substituting for the whipping cream since I couldn’t find any. My neighbors had some sour cream I used. The sour cream was not like the sour cream in the US. It worked wonders for the dish! It made enough for two meals for one person.

I had some fun at the beach this morning. I remembered to bring my waterproof case, so I could take some under water pictures. I had a lot of fun because I learned how to float!! My neighbors taught me a trick for floating! I have been trying for years to float and today I did. Between my gnocchi and learning to float I had an amazing day!! Try something new!

Shifting Your Perspective

Hey Everybody!

Some energy is moving! It’s pretty fantastic! For those of you that know me, know that I don’t go to church and I don’t like church for multiple reasons. Well, today I WENT to church! There is this little outdoor church across the street from my place I walk past it every time I go to the beach. They have these silly signs all around the area. They say things like “same management over 2000 years or don’t worry our lifeguard walks on water.” It’s pretty funny to see these signs. It adds some humor to your everyday life.

Any who… I walked past the church a few days ago and something small inside me said go to church this Sunday. There is something for you there. I have been looking forward to seeing what the church is like the last two days. Last night, I was having emotional feelings that were letting me know there is something that needs to be worked on. Jon and I spoke about what’s been going on. It wasn’t the best conversation because I left feeling disconnected. I felt as though we were not on the same page. I wrote in my journal and went to bed. This morning I didn’t want to get out of bed. My head hurt from crying and being anxious. I knew I had something to learn from church so I got up, got dressed and went to church.

The sermon was on “shifting your perspective.” He was speaking about a lady he ran into that had a perspective that was not a healthy or positive perspective. In the meeting with her, he realized that we all have a perspective and it can be tainted by our past. I am not one that believes in God, I believe in the universe as a higher power. So, I had to change some of the things he said to reflect my belief. I had to shift my perspective.

The first scripture he used to help get us to see where he was coming from was Isaiah 55:6-8. “Seek the Lord while he may be found: call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the lord and he will have mercy on them. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”

This hit me because if you seek the truth it will be found. If you let the thought and ways of the past go and turn to the universe it will have mercy on you and give you the knowledge you need in the moment. Our thoughts are not ours. They are what we have been told by the ego and the past. Once you realize this we can see things differently. Something I was having trouble doing last night. I was seeing things as I would have seen it a few years ago. Although, a part of me wanted something different, which I now understand. Since I couldn’t get the whole script down I googled it. When I googled it, it gave me Isaiah 55:9 as well. It says “as the heavens are higher than the earth. So are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” The universe is a higher power, its ways and thoughts are of a higher vibrations that can guide us to the truth. I realized that I needed to let go of the thoughts of being disconnected with Jon and see what the universe had for me. See the higher vibrations. I am now on the same page with Jon. We were able to connect in the same higher vibration today as I explained what I was learned at church.

Next, the pastor went on to the next scripture which was John 3:16-17. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” Whoever believes will not perish but have eternal life was something the pastor emphasized. It is very important to do this because whoever believes in the universe and follows the laws of nature will have eternal life. When you do the work to follow the path the universe has for you, you have life and freedom. You save the world because your growth is passed on to other people. It grows so that others start to make changes because they see what you have and they want it. They want eternal life. The pastor said “when we understand the truth in our hearts we start to see things differently.” This is so true. In order to change your perspective you have to understand the truth in your heart. This will lead to different things, a different life. The truth in my heart is I am where I am supposed to be. I have a great fiancé that pushes me to see things differently and I the same for him. We grow together because we believe we have eternal life.

“Things change when our focus changes.”  So, the question he asked was… What is Jesus’ view of you? The way I heard it was, What is the universes view of you? The view in which the universe or Jesus sees is not what you think. The view is not blocked by ego, or the past. The view is of love and understanding. The universe or God see in you someone who has purpose. We all have a view that we see ourselves that are shaped by our past. We need to rethink and unlearn that way of life. We need to shift our perspective to a wider and more focused lens.

Romans 8:38-39 says “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” To shorten this, when you are convinced…. Nothing can separate us from the laws of nature, or the universe. Do you live in accordance to the universe? Are you doing things that in line with the higher vibrations of the universe? If you are living in accordance to the universe, if you are convinced… what room do you have to worry? What place does anxiety have in your life? There is not room for worry or anxiety when you are living out the universe. I say this because last night I was worried about what will happen with Jon and I. I was anxious that this year apart would lead us apart. This really hit home for me. I remembered that if I am doing what the universe has set out for me I know that I will not be lead astray. There is no room for worry because I have all that I need now. And I will always have what I need because nothing can separate me from the universe.

“Perspective is a reflection of our heart. SO listen to your heart, to the universe and live in it. Live in the freedom. When are you going to allow yourself to live in the truth? If you really believe when will you forgive yourself? I was worried last night that the same thing that happened in my past marriage would happen in this relationship. The pastor said “your past is real and it was big. It’s stopping you from really living and seeing the truth.” My past marriage was huge, it was real. It’s not now and it’s no where near what the universe has instore for me. My current relationship and future marriage with him is not my past marriage. It is something more because I am allowing the universe to show me what the truth is, what my marriage is supposed to look like. To do this we have to reflect and shift our perspective.

The pastor left us with a how to. Most churches that I have been to do not leave you with a how to. He did and it was perfect. So, I leave us with a how to… How do you shift your perspective? Start with honesty. Start with being honest about your life. Be honest that we are not our past and we are more. Start with being honest with our actions and the consequences they have. Be honest with our hearts!

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PURA VIDA = Hakuna Matata

Hey All,

hakuna matata

I am settling in well. I have been here for two weeks. The last few days have been quite interesting. Between the water pump breaking, my shower drain being clogged, and my toilet exploding it has been a good time. Monday is when it all started. I went to the beach Monday morning. I spent a few hours there just relaxing and swimming. I stopped at the store on the way home. I didn’t have any small bills to get a taxi so I decided to walk. It was strenuous because I was carrying quite a few heavy groceries! I got home put the groceries away and took a really cold shower. I decided to chill on the porch for a while. I watched a movie and watched all the traffic drive by. I got a bit hungry so I went in to grab an apple. I tried to turn the water on and nothing came out. Since I wasn’t in too much of a hurry I just went back to watching my movie. I spoke to the neighbors when they got home and they got the water turned back on. The water pressure was way stronger than it was before the water went off. Which I thought was odd. A few hours later the internet turned off for no reason. My neighbor showed me how to reset the internet in case it happens again. I will most likely need to know again! A few hours later I went to the bathroom and flushed the toilet. This white thing in the toilet that looks like a filter had exploded causing water to go EVERY WHERE!! It was a mess! The water pressure was much higher than before so I think when I flushed it was too much for the little filter thingy. I used the water turn off valve to lower the pressure so the water doesn’t go everywhere when I flush.

 

Yesterday, I called the FBI history check facility to see what the status of my background check was. They are just now opening the history checks that arrived on May 25. Mine arrived on June 6th. So it will be a few weeks until my background check is even opened. I am estimating another month before it gets to my house. I am still able to start working I just can’t file for my work visa until it arrives. It was nice though because I had to turn my US phone off airplane mode to call the FBI. I was able to call my Nana and speak with her for a good while. It is hard not being able to go see her. I would be going to see her this week if I was still in the US. I went to the beach for a few hours which was super relaxing! I took my lunch and swam. Swimming is such a good way to get exercise! I get home and I hop in the shower to rinse and cool off. I realize my shower drain is clogged and the water from this morning didn’t go down. I was cooking dinner later that evening and I saw a little gecko crawl down my wall! It was super cool. I used to have lizards and geckos got pets.

 

The last thing to happen was that an amazing and wonderful woman who has helped me on my journey of self-discovery passed away. She was so dear to the school I go to in New York City. I have had her in my thoughts as she passes on to the next plane.

Today I went on a great horseback riding tour. My horse was crazy and my butt and ankles are sore. It was so worth it though. I saw a bunch of monkeys and had a great ride through the woods and on the beach. I was able to relax and process everything that is happening. I am beginning to learn the meaning of PURA VIDA! If you’re wondering Pura Vida is similar to Hakuna Matata, “It means no worries”. Being here has really shown me this is part of my journey. I feel at home in this country. I feel at home with the language barrier. I feel at home with the culture.

Learning about myself

The last few days have been eye opening for me. I realized that when it comes to meeting new people I am not as I used to be. I used to start chatting with whoever I thought would be friendly. Now, it’s hard to just talk to someone I don’t know. It’s not just because they speak a language different from mine. It’s because I am not the person I used to be. I like to have my space. I like to have time to myself. Although, it is great to meet new people because you learn something new about yourself you didn’t know before.

The last few days I’ve been showing a new friend around the area where I live. It’s been so fun yet new for me. I had to learn to balance the time to myself and the time with my new friend. They came to the area to visit me so it seemed as though I needed to spend all my time with them. This doesn’t always have to be the case though. There is a way to balance the time spent with or without someone. Plus, if you’re getting to know someone it might not be wise to spend every minute with them. It was a great time exploring how the bus works, trying to find postcards for a good price, negotiating a taxi ride home while it’s pouring rain outside and spending time on the beach is an amazing way to get to know someone.

 

Today was a really fun and out of my comfort zone kind of day. I met my new friend at the beach down the road in the afternoon. We set up my cabana on the beach and went looking for seashells. We got a lobster that we picked out right there. It was cooked and brought to our little cabana. It was so good and cheap!! After an hour or so his new friend and daughter showed up with their driver. We talked and relaxed on the beach until it was time to go to dinner. I was told about a place near buy you can go for dinner and a swim. As long as you spend over a certain amount of money you can use the infinite pool and see an amazing view of the ocean! So, we headed there for the rest of the evening. It was quite an adventure given the driver kept hitting on me and I believe he asked me on a date tomorrow (he has 3 girlfriends). He doesn’t speak much English so the conversation may have gotten lost in translation.

 

I don’t do well when people hit on me or ask me out. I don’t like the attention and I have a fiancé that I love so much. This was an uncomfortable situation I had to get out of a few times. He knew I had a fiancé and kept at it. I guess he thought that since I was here and my fiancé was in the US that it wouldn’t matter so he persisted a few times. I was very excited with myself because I didn’t react the way I would have in the past. In the past, I would have been all excited and my self-esteem would have skyrocketed. Then I would feel miserable the shortly after. I feel like I kept my dignity and self-esteem. It is such an amazing feeling!

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Writing

writing

Writing is something that I am not that good at. It’s a way for me to push myself to write about my life. I never thought it would be this rewarding. When I started writing my blog I was scared. I didn’t want the whole world to see my writing and think things about me. I started off writing about recipes and my exercising. The exercising posts didn’t last because I have trouble keeping a workout regimen. Th recipes stopped when I got busy with my course in CR. I kept going though. I Kept writing about what’s on my mind. I kept writing about what I am feeling. It’s getting easier and easier to write about what my heart tells me to write. It has been a great journey of seeing where this will go and who I become.

Writing is a way to help me process certain situations. It gets things off my mind so I can see the situation in a different light. I love being able to use writing as a way to get a different perspective on what is happening in my life. I am exciting to see where this writing takes me. Who knows one day maybe I will write a book about my life story. I have thought about it a few times yet never thought I was a good enough writer. I have a long way to go and it will be a few years before that happens.

I encourage you to write about what’s in your life. Write like you can’t stop. Don’t think about it or edit it, just write. It can be in a journal, a word document, or a random piece of paper. It is meant to help you get all the stuff on your mind out. It is something that gets the emotions out. It may not help like it does with me so see what you get. See how it helps you or how it doesn’t. Experiment with your writing see what it does for you!

What is marriage?

Being home has given me a lot to think about over the next few months. There are so many things that I have yet to learn about myself. Getting married is one of them. Getting married is a huge deal. It’s not something that someone should take lightly. I learned this the hard way. I’ve been married once before and thinking about getting married scares the crap out of me. I love my fiancé and he is the most amazing man in the world to me. The things I learn from him are beyond anything I could ever ask for. He pushes me in ways no one else could. He sees things that I don’t see within myself and pushes me to be better. It’s amazing.

So, this brings me to the point of getting married and it being a huge deal. He asked me to marry him last year. We are planning to get married in Costa Rica next year. This is scary. I want to start planning and getting things started. At the same time, I am not ready. I am not ready to start planning and getting things ready because I am not sure. I am absolutely, sure I want to marry Jon. There is no question in my mind that he is the perfect one for me. In fact, I don’t have any questions. There are things about myself that I am not ready to deal with. I am not in a place where I want to be mentally.

Some of the things I want to come to understand is that I don’t need to get married for everyone else. I don’t need to have a fancy ceremony or go to an exotic place to one up my previous wedding. I need to get married when I am ready and he is ready. Marriage is about the laws of nature. It doesn’t matter what papers you have, it matters what you do to grow yourself into a more aware and honest person.

One of the things that I really love about Jon is his sense of what marriage is. It is something that I never thought of. It is something that doesn’t make sense to people. It didn’t make sense to me at first either. It took me a while to get to the point of understanding I have now. I still have a long way to go to understand how he sees marriage, yet I think it is important.

Marriage is deep. Marriage is not just a piece of paper. Marriage is not a fancy wedding. Marriage is between two people and nature. I am not sure how to explain it in words that would make sense. So here is the only way I know how to explain it. I found an article online called “The nature of sacred marriage”. It gives the best explanation possible.

“When Nature is not included in the marriage covenant and in its purpose, then marriage is no longer sacred. It becomes a vehicle with which to measure personal happiness, and if and when this happiness disappears in the face of difficulty, it is not surprising that many marriages end. A sacrament partakes of the Eternal – of the order of Life.  It cannot be altered by law or edict, even though its sacred nature may be forgotten or abused. Marriage, as sacrament, reflects Nature’s intention to share the gifts of love and the joy of love with two, who, through their love, will bring the fruits of their joining to the world for the benefit of the world as well as for themselves. These fruits include but go far beyond the bearing of children. They are the fruits of the soul, the expressions of the soul, bringing what is Divine in each partner into greater manifestation, making each one a truer reflection of their inner being. The sacramental nature of marriage makes it more than a physical bond, more than an emotional bond. It is, in its deepest meaning, a spiritual bond, built out of the depth of love between two souls. To consecrate a marriage is to bring it into concordance not with two wills but with three – that of the two souls involved and that of nature.” (they used God. I changed it to nature)(http://lightomega.org/Ind/Pure/Sacred_Marriage.html)

This is what I am learning to understand because I want a happy and long-lasting marriage. I want something that is a whole lot more than my last marriage. I want something that has depth and meaning. With Jon, I have that. I have someone who will push me to think differently. I have someone who will tell me the truth. He and I both know that the depth can be deeper. He and I both know that we have to grow more in tune with nature’s laws to have a lasting and fruitful marriage. That is what we are striving for. Until we feel in tune to nature’s laws marriage will be put on hold. We may have a five-year engagement, who knows. It is okay because MARRIAGE takes work so we will do some work now to make sure it we are doing it for the right reasons.

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Falling into Place

It has been an adventure of trusting myself. From the beginning, I have been taking risks and seeing what time brings. Since I quit my job back in February things have been falling into place. Once I quit my job, I started looking for other options. I had plenty of job offers from babysitting to teaching pre-kindergarten. Nothing seemed like the right fit. Since coming to Costa Rica last year I knew I was bound to go back and work there. Something told me to look into getting my TEFL certification. I looked at the prices and the options. After talking with my fiancé, I decided to make it happen. I gave myself 45 days to get ready for the next step in trusting myself. I made the decision to go and nothing was stopping me except my passport. So, I sent my passport in for a name change back to my maiden name. Since it was a month away I wasn’t going to work because why work for such a short time. The next day an old employer sent me a text asking how my job search was going. I told her I was moving to Costa Rica and stopped looking for jobs.  She asked me if I could work for them again until I left. Since they were moving in a few months it was perfect for them. It was a blessing to work for them for the short time before I left. Everything was falling into place. I got my passport back two weeks later and applied to the course.

 

I wanted to stay in Costa Rica for 6 months when I first decided to go. It has since changed to an undetermined time. I fell in love with Monteverde last year when we came, so I looked up schools I could work for. I found the Friends School to be the only one that I am qualified for in the area. After doing research I fell in love with the school. I wasn’t going to apply because it is a two year commitment. After going within myself, I realized I can’t sell myself short. I need to try. This school became my number one school for employment.

 

During the tefl course I was able to see some other schools and received a job offer from a school in Liberia. I drove to Liberia Costa Rica to see if I liked the place. I do like Liberia. I just didn’t find the school to be the right fit for me. I contacted the Friends School and they told me that there was a possible position depending on the teacher. I told them I would come by after my course ended. I sent them an email a week after speaking with them to thank them for their time and the dates I would be coming. I never looked at other schools because I really want this one.

 

I passed my course and now I am in Monteverde. I went by the school to get a tour and reiterate how much I would love to work there. The teacher who I would replace has some medical issues the directors are worried about. She left school early today while we were there for medical reasons. They offered the schools apartment for us to use while we are in town. I am staying in town until Thursday at the earliest. They directors told us to come to their end of the school year meetings Wednesday morning and hopefully we can speak after about the position. If he gets busy we will speak on Thursday.

 

This is a true test of listening to myself. I fell that his place is where I am supposed to be. I feel at home here for so many reasons. It a small quiet town. It has lots of hiking trails for exercise. It’s in the mountain so the temperature is perfect. The school is a Quaker school with great ties to the community. They do a lot of volunteering in the neighborhood which is fantastic. It is perfect for my growth and where I am headed.

 

I will be patient and trust that things will fall into place the way they are supposed to. I will live for the now and the right things will fall into place. 18644694_10213368932117405_483205279_n

Pura Vida

I finished my course. I am now certified to teach English. My final grades were A’s. The course was absolutely amazing! If you ever want to learn to teach English as a foreign language TESOL Costa Rica is the place to go. Melanie and Luke are amazing teachers. They prepare you to succeed. They give you help and guidance. I came away with so many games, fillers, and fun activities to use in the classroom. It is by means not an easy course. I can guarantee, you will be far more prepared leaving this course than you would taking it online. I am so happy I made the choice to come here to take the course.

I am off to find a job now. I would like a teaching job where I teach children in a normal school setting. I don’t want to teach English in a language school if I don’t have too. I am looking in the Monteverde area as well as Guanacaste.  Since I am looking for a particular type of school I have limited options. I do have plenty of experience from home so hopefully I won’t have a problem.

My fiancé came two days ago to spend time with me and help me find the right school. We also plan to scout out wedding venues while we are here. It will be a busy week! So far we have gone to Isla Tortuga and La Paz Waterfall and Gardens. We took a catamaran to Isla Tortuga which was super fun. It was a huge boat with 83 people on board not including the staff. They served fresh fruit and drinks while onboard. Once we got to the island they provided a snorkeling adventure. We took another boat out farther in the water. It was a great spot to snorkel. A sunken ship and lots of fish! When we got back to the beach they had a four course meal ready and waiting for us. After lunch we had plenty of time to swim. It was fun. I would have explored the island more if we could. Since the island is protected you have to stay on the beach. I am not sure I would visit again. It’s a great one time thing. Beautiful place, it just needs more to do.

La Paz Waterfall Gardens is really nice. I have been twice now. They have a butterfly garden, a toucan house, waterfalls, and lunch. It is nice to go with a guide rather than the self guided tour. You get more information with the guide. I had a guide the first time and learned a lot. This place is near Poas Volcano. Since the volcano is erupting I was having eye issues. If you go and you wear contacts do not wear them. You can mess up your contacts from the ash in the air. I made this mistake the first time. I learned the second time and wore my glasses. I am so glad I did because the ash this time was bad.

We are off to Monteverde tomorrow to explore and try to convince my favorite school to hire me! More to come soon! Pura Vida! “Dare to live the life you’ve always wanted”

What is Culture Shock?

There are many myths about culture shock. I want to explain some of them so everyone can truly understand what culture shock is. It is important to understand what culture shock is so that when it happens to you, you can take the right steps to overcoming it.

Myth #1 Culture Shock happens all at once.

Fact #1 Culture Shock happens slowly and gradually. What happens is your defenses are weakened until it is at zero.

Myth #2 Culture Shock is noticing difference. Example: “I almost got hit by a car today. What a culture shock it is to walk across the streets in Costa Rica.”

Fact #2 Culture Shock is you going crazy. When you have a mental breakdown due to the weakened defenses of being in another country.

Myth #3 Culture Shock can happen on a one week vacation.

Fact #3 You must live in a country for a long period to experience culture shock. It can take weeks or a few months for this to take place. It depends on your situation and environment.

Myth #4 It won’t happen to me.

Myth #4 Culture Shock happens to everyone.

I realize I am going through Culture Shock right now. It has been coming on slowly and I know it is not completely here yet. I can feel the stress of finding a job, finishing assignments, and meeting new people weighing down on me. I love the course I am taking. I know it is preparing me for what will come. Although, the work load is intense. I have lesson plans, quizzes, assignments, and lecture. This course should be done in 6 weeks instead of 4 weeks.

The stress of choosing a job is huge. There is a school that I want over any school here. They are waiting for the current teacher to decide whether she will be staying or leaving. This is stressful because I got another job offer that would be a good fit, not the perfect fit though. I don’t want to lose this job offer waiting for the other school to decide. Letting go and trusting my intuition is a hard thing to do. If I just let go and listened to my intuition I would have less stress. My defenses wouldn’t be breaking down as quickly.

 

There are different phases of culture shock: the honeymoon, the frustration stage, the adjustment stage, and the acceptance stage.

The Honeymoon Stage:

This stage happens when you first get to a new country. It is the positive and excited stage. When I got to Costa Rica I was full of excitement and energy. I was in awe of all the differences between the US and here. It was wonder and exhilaration. like any thing else this stage can eventually go away.

The Frustration Stage:

This is the stage I am in right now. It is also the most difficult stage from what I have read. This is the stage where small things begin to get to you. For me, it is the people in my class and not having an answer from one of the schools. I am frustrated with not feeling 100%. I have had headache and body aches the last few days. I do not cope well when I am sick. I don’t miss home. I really like it here. I just want to get started with getting into a routine and having a job. It is frustrating not being able to plan ahead for things like housing.

The Adjustment Stage:

I want to get to this stage. I want to begin adjusting. I want to find a permanent place to stay. I want to start taking Spanish classes to improve my Spanish. I want to be able to make friends that are along the same wave length as I am. I want to figure out where I will be so I can figure out how to navigate around the new place.

The Acceptance Stage:

This stage can come weeks, months, or even years after dealing with frustration. This is the final stage. It is about accepting and adapting to a new way of life. You have to build a new foundation of how to deal with the different things that will come at you when you are some place new. I am use to having my monthly trips to IHP. I am used to having my girlfriend’s to hang out with and bounce Ideas off of. I am used to having my fiancé be there to comfort me and show me it is going to be okay. I have some of this because I can easily call or text home.  I have to accept that things are different here and it will take time to create new relationships and stress relievers for myself.

culture shock

One thing I have learned is that we have the choice to determine how long this process takes. We are the only ones who can do the work to get through the different stages. We have the choice to take care of ourselves and give ourselves the space to look at the emotions. Looking at the emotions and the thoughts that are raging through our bodies is our choice. The sooner we look at them and come to accept that they are there, the sooner we will get through the stages. Patience is the number one thing we need because it won’t happen overnight. Although, we can make sure it doesn’t take years or months. We can make sure that we stay positive and love ourselves though the different stages. It won’t last forever. And life does become normal again.

accept