by Todd Pequeen
I hope all of us are “living the dream.” To me it is a matter of relevance. Advantages vs. disadvantages. A beach life style vs city or suburban living. The reliance and convinces of hunting down goods, services, and entertainment compared to the beauty and simplicity of mother nature. For two months I have been uncomfortable when I am told by my massage clients, or random tourists, that I am “living the dream.” Let me say first and forehand that yes, I am honored and feel blessed to be living in Costa Rica for almost 10 years. I personally know that I am living my dream, I give thanks for it every day. I suppose my issue is the tone and the envy of the complement. I hope and assume everyone is living, or at least working toward achieving their “dream” as well. That is what I was taught life is about, and what I see my friends teaching their children. When we listen to and trust our heart and soul, we make decisions correctly and organically become what we dream of.
We can’t have it all and almost everything we do have requires sacrifices. These are easy to dismiss by outsiders looking in. As I look more closely at my dream living I see an annual salary on par with poverty rate status in the United States. My car (known as the Red Rocket) was purchased for $2,000 eight years ago. It has a hole in the back door that can house a small dog or cat. I wish my dream included cash for my clunker. My dream includes a one bedroom, one bath house with no stove, garage, or air conditioner. My electricity goes off with no reason and for years I would not have water for days at a time (our suppliers deemed water more important for hotels than the local community of workers which are the bloodline of the hotels). Did I mention the bureaucracy of getting anything done, or two hour lines in banks – the dream indeed. My dreams nightmare also includes petty thievery that is out of control, no holidays with my family in 10 years, a change of seasons that include rain, or no rain, and a legalization process that if you are pursuing it now….well, God help you!
When it comes down to it, location and lifestyle does not produce “the dream”. An ideal tourist vacation is nothing remotely close to how we as locals live and breath. The majority of us come here with a true passion and vision of what we wanted our lives to fruit with. We sculpted with hardships, perhaps more than our brothers and sisters in our home lands. Our lives were built here through optimism and peace of mind. There is one difference however, and that is the confidence of faith in greener pastures elsewhere and facing unknowns as opportunities. There are alternative ways of achieving and blossoming outside of our cultures and the countries we were born. Often the rat race is just a self imposed mindset. I hope everyone is living their dream and helping others around them fulfill theirs too.
Todd is a New York Institute of Massage Graduate and Nationally Certified in the USA. He has been practicing massage for over 10 years and can be reached at <a href=”mailto:[email protected]/”>[email protected]</a>