I Am Not Here for a Man


Having a blast teaching in Liberia, Costa Rica, at Instituto Estelar Bilingüe.

I am single once again, and several of my students responded to the news with concern, afraid they might lose their teacher. “Are you going to leave Costa Rica now?” they asked. Of course I assured them that I am not going anywhere.

I’ve been faced with this question before. When I came to Costa Rica four years ago, I was married. After six months in the country, my husband told me one morning that he was leaving on a plane that afternoon, headed back to the States where he would file papers for divorce. I never doubted that I would stay put. Living in Costa Rica was my dream, and I wanted to see it through.

It seems to be a common assumption that we women do things solely for men: we stay, we go, we start something, we quit something. When I lived in Spain for six months in 2001, my parents were convinced that I was there to meet a bullfighter when actually all I cared about was seeing castles and learning Spanish. Bullfighters are overrated anyway.

Why is it hard to believe that we do things for ourselves? Maybe women do tend to make too many choices based on men. We could all probably live more for ourselves.

I am doing just that by living in Costa Rica. It’s right for me. I like the people, the language, and the climate, and I love my new school in my new town of Liberia. I am excited by the projects on my plate, the books on my shelves, and the plants in my yard. I am here for me, and I’ll leave when I’m good and ready.

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8 responses to “I Am Not Here for a Man

  1. Rock on, Bethany!

    When I was moving to Japan, too few people said “Wow, that will be life changing.” The most common reaction was, “You’ll probably marry a Japanese man.”

    People…

    Happy you are happy!

  2. Estefania Sierra

    Me encanto Bethany…

    Sigue adelante! 🙂

  3. Great post, Bethany–but you’re not getting away with a single sentence about your husband jumping on a plane one afternoon. What’s the story, the full story? I can remember you sitting in my office years ago, expressing the push-pull of your life: the push being your nature of adventure and exploration, the pull being your religion and family and relationships.

    -Jim

    • For the whole story, you’ll have to read my book…except I stopped revising it on the fourth draft and need to do much more work on it to make it presentable. I should take it up again, but it’s emotionally draining. You’re right: I used to struggle with the conflict of my nature vs. what was expected of me, but since exiting the cave, I feel more at peace. Thanks for reading!

  4. You go girl! I believe in you and that you will go far. Maybe someday there will be a guy that is good enough to be by your side, sharing in all of the amazing things you are accomplishing, but I’m glad that time is not now, because I think you will carry yourself further if you aren’t tied down by anyone. Besides because you’re so awesome, you’ll always have great friends, and we’re worth a lot more 🙂

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