Okay so day one of re-entry and it isn't looking pretty--Culture shock and then some!!!
After a full day of traveling-- 2 taxi rides= one tram- one bus- 2 planes ( with 8 hour+flying time) I finally drag myself to the motel I had booked to at least have a place to land while I figure out what is next-- So there I was last night in a this miserable dark motel with a suitcase full of wrinkled tropical clothes in Los Angeles which is going through a cold spell. ( Now I know a bad day in LA is warmer than the rest of the country's winter) but coming from the warmth of the tropics, I am shivering inside and out. As drove there, the traffic, the billboards, the people all just looked alien and overwhelming to me. And I always feel the same when I return home-- I never feel happy- Duh Patrice- Ya think that might be something to look at?
I bring myself to unpack and set up shop so to speak and then promptly burst into tears-I can't get to the dogs that are boarded until tomorrow- Mark is at sea, I am feeling really short of friends and family and kind of a loser in that regard, I can't go home and am not sure where home even is anymore and I begin to wonder if there really isn't some kind of message in all of this...For years I have said that I want a different way of life. What then really, I ask myself is stopping me from going and getting it?
I just sort of want to disappear - off the grid--- Call it running, escaping, ditching out, pulling a "geographical" if you will-- I don't care what anyone thinks anymore--- I am kind of in a surreal state right now. at 49 1/2 years old, I am sitting in the motel and taking stock and you know what--it's a mess- just what am I doing here anyway, really?
I am in debt big time, I have been struggling to make it whatever "It" is all my life. Things have never been"normal" for me- I wouldn't know a 401k if it walked over and introduced itself. I just have never felt like I belonged here in the U.S, I seem to march to a distant drum. The values, the pressure, the beliefs, the pace-- not for me.
Though creatively, I have been blessed to have books published and the artist in me has gotten a chance to be heard-- none of that has put enough bread on the table to make much of a sandwich, I am still chasing the " all American dream" which quite frankly as I look around seems to have been more like "the all American nightmare" for many. I am an aging artist in Los Angeles- home of youth and beauty in ridiculous extremes-- It is a big city and somehow I still haven't found my tribe- my gang- my familia...
Is this really where I want to live out my years??? The answer comes back instantly and it is a bellowing NO!
So after calling my son Eli ( 17 and living with his dad hundreds of miles away to my great heartache) I practically beg him to be nice to me as I break down in tears and lo and behold he actually was. I can't wait to see him in a week- even though it's Christmas and we don't have a home to go to-- whether it is motel. hotel, or crashing on the boat- we will be together and that immediately warms the motel room immeasurably.
The fact remains that I would probably see him just as often if I lived in another country as I do now--There really is nothing keeping me here. Mark and I could easily have a long distance relationship-- it might even improve things drastically.
I go to sleep fitfully with all these questions and ponderings dancing through my jet lagged, culture shocked brain. I awaken at 6am to Mark calling from Costa Rica who had a really bad ride yesterday ( even he admitted that it was a good thing I wasn't there- which means it was really bad.) They hit bad weather apparently and it was really hairy for a while with things flying all over the boat-- they are okay thank God- It' funny, I sensed something coming, some slight danger. My intuition is alive and well, which is why I need to start listening and trusting it more than ever. Anyway they are shoving off this morning to make a push to Nicaragua or Guatemala depending on how well they are doing. He too expressed that he really wants to move down to the tropics. However, it is a little easier said than done.
I proceed to do some online research into U.S citizens relocating down there. It is rather daunting to say the least( the paperwork, the legalities,finding work, the shipping , selling, setting up,) and I have much to research- for now I want to give myself permission to go real easy on myself for the next few weeks. I will take everything hour by hour day by day... I will find my home and by God's grace the place where I belong. One thing that appeals to me is the whole ex-pat community thing. It seems that when Americans, Canadians and Europeans relocate, they tend to create their own wonderful families since there own are far away. Something about the common factor of choosing an alternative, out of the box type of reality forms a powerful bond. I can feel something happening inside of me. I can tell that it is indeed only a matter of time before I blow out of dodge and into the trade winds literally.
The adventure of it all is quite compelling. Stay Tuned!
Until then, I am off to get Jojo and Coco released from doggie jail ( boarding) and to be smothered in canine love- I can hardly wait!