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.