This from my friend, Marie:
“I hope your immersion in Costa Rica is going well. I’ve enjoyed your early adventures through your blog. It made me think of my years living in Rio.
First, there was the absolute fascination with everything exotic and different. Then there was the realization that there was no peanut butter, so to speak.
Then the feeling of being disconnected because my language skills were so rudimentary. And, finally, came the point where I was so happy–having learned the language, gotten a job, had a baby and had a circle of Brazilian friends–that I realized I could have stayed on indefinitely.
That in-between, transition phase was challenging, though.”
Every new phase in my life, a move, a marriage, motherhood, has required one of those damned transition phases. Like the 7 stages of grief: denial (this isn’t so different from America), anger (why did you make me move here?)[um, this was my idea], guilt (what am I doing to my children?), depression (oh god everyone at home will forget me), forgiveness (I forgive you for not sending Triscuits), acceptance (we definitely are NOT in Kansas anymore), and recovery (God, I love this place).
Homesickness would fall under depression, although “depressed” is not a word one would use to describe me. I get moments of “missing”: Mary and Friday night sushi at Ambrosia was a staple in my Key West life, Pen and Belle every day, Renata my wife, the clubhouse, a good solid gossip fest with G.L., phone calls with Judi, garden tours with Ellen, Raj and Shanta’s chicken curry, lunch at Hansa’s (don’t get me started on the food). I miss my people!!!
Oddly enough, I don’t miss Key West. If someone said, “Here’s a million dollars, come home,” I wouldn’t. OK, OK, I would. But it would have to be something very compelling (like a million dollars) to drag me home just yet. First of all, it is SO fun to be having this adventure with my children, er, the huge young men who live in my house. That is excellent. And Costa Rica is enchanting, as enchanting to me now as Key West was when I arrived there in 1978. Fresh, green, wild, a little bit country, a little bit outlaw… As Lovage would say, “Enlarging, enlightening, enlivening!” Definitely all that.
I’m working on the ultimate cure for homesickness which will pave the way to acceptance. NO, I’m not going to have a baby! I’m not THAT homesick. Although I did look into adoption here. I would love to have that little girl. Costa Rica has a hard row to hoe when it comes to adoption. I understand it. What do you do: take a chance on selling a baby into sexual slavery or raise her in an orphanage? God. What a world.
Anyway, maybe the stork will leave a basket on my doorstep? It’s more likely I’ll get a million dollars. Sigh. Anyway, I’m working out the details on the ultimate homesickness cure. Stay tuned! And send Triscuits. I’m simply not at forgiveness yet.