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My New Year’s Resolution: To Not Look For Love In Latin America, Part I   5 comments

Each New Year thoughts and resolutions turn to making this year better than the last.  I’m gonna exercise more.  I am going to stick to my diet.  Find a new job.  Take a vacation.  There are thousands of different ways people swear they are going to change their lives for the better.

Well, I have decided on what not to do this year.  After a tough divorce from a great woman, I have decided to relax.  To not try so hard to have the family in my life that seems to have eluded me.   And from a guy that has spent decades fooling himself into believing that he was in control, this will be no small feat.

To understand my decision in its essence, I need to go back to high school.  I was the ugly duckling.  I was dark brown in a culture that valued light and white.  My glasses were not made for young men with fragile egos.  Coke bottles, I think they called them.  I am from the nerd stock.  A wanna be intellectual with boyish ways and a decent smile.  But after three years in and out of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Colombia I have come to know that one’s ego can write checks that ultimately will beg the question, what do you really want for your life.

For reasons, at least in my mind way too complicated to tackle in this article, there are way too many women (like my friend in the photo) in these countries seeking boyfriends, marriage or just someone to share their journeys.  Some are breathtakingly gorgeous.  Many are just plain pretty.  Most would make any man happy.  And some are either desperate or damaged, or both, enough that they would go with whoever can pay the bills.  This is the ego driven temptation that belies the fact that there is basicness, a simplicity, about life and living in Latin America which underscores the true value, and perhaps even intent, of relationships.

Being in Latin America can be like being Odysseus on his journey home.  Even if one avoids crashing on the Island of Sirens you still have to deal with Calypso wiling you to a fantasy filled life on the Isle of Ogygia.  Not a bad life if one is ready for the responsibilities that come with the willingness to have someone in your life who will try their best to give you what you think you need, when you think you need it.  What I have come to know is that the hopes and dreams of many here is not only about falling in love.  They are also about not having to live in crowded houses, sleeping with other people in your bed no matter how old you are, eating healthier and doing more than working without end.

I once met a guy in a bar in Costa Rica.  He had an apartment in San Jose.  He was maybe early to mid-sixties.  Tall and handsome.  Kind of like I imagine Colin Firth will look in his later years.  He was waiting, he said, for his new woman friend.  As we talked, sharing from where we both came, he admitted both to me, and I think himself, that her motives may not be just for love.  It was easy to tell that he was taken.  And as she walked in the door I could see why.  She was absolutely movie star status.  Five nine, maybe 130 lbs., maybe 25 or 26, long auburn hair with golden highlights, a killer body and a “come and do whatever you think you can handle” smile.  As they left, we said our “wish you wells.”  Poignantly, he added, “I think she could probably teach me something about life.”

According to Homer, Odysseus bade his men to tie him to the mast of his ship to avoid the temptations of the sirens.  He knew that the songs of sirens will change your life without those changes being a conscious, and if it is ones value, a planned decision.  In Latin America, the stakes are different.  Perhaps even higher!  In my journey, I have learned the difference between ego driven decisions and decisions that come from living a life that is fulfilling.  Hard as it may be to imagine, though poverty and disparity may cause people to come from a place of economic need they can also come from a place of spiritual wholeness, even in their desperation and damage.  This is a profound shift in being, as well as the way the world has worked around me.

The inescapable reality in Latin American is that meeting one’s needs can come before love.  And love can come from meeting someone’s needs.  A love that is stronger, more binding, fiercely loyal and passionate in service to the wants of the provider than I have ever known.  For all I know my handsome bar friend could be living in San Jose in perfect bliss.  Knowing what he has, or not knowing, but being content each day with what is making him happy.  There is a part of me which would envy him that life.  Perhaps that is my ego talking.  Or the “Leave It To Beaver” life goal that I was programmed to believe would bring me happiness.

But I am not yet ready for Ogygia.  Like Odysseus I am on a journey, as are we all.  And as most of us know, sometimes getting home can be a challenge full of trials and triumphs.  I am grateful to have the ability to learn, to grow, to enjoy connections that affirm the conscious enlightenment to which I aspire.  My goals remain: to be a positive light in the lives of others; to be physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy; to grow and prosper in my writing; to find a home that will benefit from my art and design background; and to create more opportunities for my continued teaching and learning.

2012 will be a great year, I know.  I am already blessed the teachings of my journey.

Happy New Year

Posted January 9, 2012 by Wayne in Uncategorized

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