29 November 2018

An Update on Life in Puerto Rico - a journal entry

I love it here.

Do people move at their own pace? Yes. Can it get frustrating when there's maybe a better way, a more efficient way, of doing something? Yes. (I'm recalling the vet clinic or dropping the Toyota off for servicing, that didn't have appointments, so you just wait all day until it's your turn... so yes, that was frustrating. I did roll my eyes all the time, which I'm now embarrassed about). It isn't called "island time" for nothing (and hey, there are a ton of things back in the States that I would shake my head at and think it could have been done better). But who says my way is the right way anyway, you know what I mean? Are people really nice here? Yes. Are they understanding when you try to speak Spanish and you can't and they do their very best to trip over their own English and go out of their way to help you? Yes. I had my own culture shock when first moving here and about a month ago, according to my
journal, that culture shock just stopped. I fell in love with the house even more so, I loved that the weather was cooler and the mosquitoes were on hiatus, and I relished in the slowness of it all. I started recognizing people in town and saying hello and stopping to talk with them. I'm so thankful to my husband, Jason, for providing us with this new chapter in our lives. I love our new home and I love this new change in thinking. I learned you can't live here with a cocky attitude, or frustrated all the time at the differences. You really do have to just shed the old world for how things are here, and just accept that things take longer, or that it's just different than the way you might have done things. It's different. We're not going to change the cultural flow of things here, so it's best to just ride the wave and not fight it. Things are different everywhere in the world. That's why I was so excited to come here, for Dominic to experience this. It's only been 3 months, but we're now finding a rhythm, a routine and now it feels like home. We have our favorite spots, and we know which way to go now without using the GPS (and that is an achievement)!
We love the cat and the cat loves Dominic!
We wanted this new experience in our family's history together. To do something different, to try something new, to experience something that we would remember forever as a family. That's what I remember as a kid growing up with my family in the Philippines or Venezuela or Greece. Sort of throwing away that first-world luxury and expectation and sometimes, arrogance. I'm ashamed by my own attitude when first moving here, how frustrated I would get (in my meager defense, I did have over 70 mosquito bites, after all). In 3 months, I've learned a lot about myself, my own level of patience, my approach to things. It's weird how it just happened, and I hope I stay this way. The things that used to annoy me so quickly are totally fine now. I'm not flaunting my supposed knowledge on how someone can do it better. Who cares? Let it go. And who says I'm right anyway?

Everyone can learn to change, can learn to adjust to new
things. It's not always fancy in the world. And so I absolutely can state that I love it here and am so excited for all the adventures we've already had and the new and fun ones soon to come. We've been through a lot in the past four years, with the cancer I had and the double mastectomy, chemo and radiation that consumed us for two years, and with Jason starting a new job right after that in which the first year he was only home on weekends. We've been through a lot, and we are thankful to God for this opportunity. We love it here. We have a chance to be kinder, to be happier, and to appreciate life.

We are all in.