Gregerson’s in town. He got in on Tuesday afternoon which meant that we were convening at by far his favorite place in Jacó that same evening: Los Amigos.
I have this feeling that Gregerson has been a long-term friend – mostly because I hear his name on an almost daily basis as I’m sure he does mine – but I’m not sure that he actually is.
We’ve only met in person once up until this visit. Granted, it was great and historic in terms of Toña consumption, but I don’t think that qualifies as an elevation to buddy status. We aren’t even Facebook friends; though he isn’t with anyone except his wife. We are connections on LinkedIn, so maybe that says something.
I’m used to buying plane tickets. When you live abroad, visits home at least once a year are usually requisite. This is doubly true in my case. I spent an entire twelve months in Costa Rica when I first arrived, almost to the day, before I went back home. After that, I’ve made the trip roughly every six months. Always at Christmas – as per mom’s orders – and then once to enjoy the (normally) gorgeous Ontario summers.
So when I sat down this week to buy yet another plane ticket, nothing felt weird about it – until Expedia kindly asked me to specify a return date. I didn’t have one. Err, I don’t have one.
I haven’t bought a one-way ticket since that first flight that brought me here to Costa Rica. As it dawned on me that I won’t be coming back this time, I unexpectedly felt many similar emotions and thoughts that first occurred to me on my last one-way adventure; feelings that I haven’t really felt in the last three years. That sense of an unknown entity. Not knowing what exactly the next step is or what it’s going to be like when you arrive at your destination.
My alarm has been set for 6AM for the past three weeks; it hasn’t gone off once. I suppose that’s what happens when you go to bed at 9 after falling asleep on the couch at 8:30. While never declaring myself as a morning person, many have identified me as such. I enjoy mornings. I find great pleasure in watching the sunrise, listening to the birds chirp and the roosters crow – if that’s in fact what you call what they do.
Three weeks ago this amazing splendor that nature provides did not shower me with the same sentiments. Rather, it filled me with feelings of discomfort, grogginess and a search for recollection of what time, that same morning, my head in fact did hit pillow.
When you wake up to a welcoming of assorted bottles and cans from the night before, a search for aspirin and reciprocal questions from your friends – à la The Hangover – about what had occurred exactly, the shining sun and robust roosters don’t give off the same sense of equilibrium.
Leaving is an ugly word. It lacks the sugar and the coat that is most often applied to major decisions or big announcements. If two people stop seeing each other, the term most used is ‘they broke-up’ rather than focusing on who did the breaking. Similarly if someone is relieved of their duties at their place of work, the common vernacular used is ‘let go’ rather than saying that person was fired.
Perhaps I lack tact. I’ve never been one to beat around that ominous bush in order to disguise or fudge meaning. I can say without equivocation that in certain instances it certainly would have been a better path to have taken.
Not in this case.
I’ll be honest: I lied before.
Not about being a writer or a blogger; I am still neither of those things. Also not about not knowing what it is I actually do or what my life is anymore – both of those realities remain very much intact.
Rather, I lied about why I’m doing this. I’ve never done a blog or written anything just for myself; I’ve always been paid to write. When you are paid to write there are angles, directives, mass editing and re-writes. When you write for yourself there doesn’t have to be any of those things; you can just write. Write for an audience. Or not. Write about interesting things. Or not. The beauty of a blog is it can be about anything you want and that provides a freedom not often found in the professional sphere.
I’m not a writer. I’m not a blogger. I don’t claim to be either one while simultaneously admitting that I’m not sure I understand what either term means. I know it’s not as simple as a writer being someone who writes. By that logic I am many things; I’m a part time runner, an occasional binger and a full time and glorious eater. But those don’t seem to fall in line, either.
Are you a reader?
In 2013 people seem to be everything without being something. I meet people every day who claim to be writers, marketers, teachers and realtors all at the same time. To me, this person doesn’t actually do anything – or at least do anything well. If you claim to do all of those things it screams that you’re actually terrible at all of them – trying to do many things sparingly, so that people won’t notice that you glaringly do all of them poorly.