I went out for breakfast this morning. It is something I have been doing a lot since I moved to Puerto Vallarta. I never did that when I was living in Holland, nor when I was in Curaçao. Here, it is something very common. And as I was sipping my coffee and appreciating the view of the mountain, I felt a profound bliss… a feeling I have been enjoying a lot lately. It is like being on a constant vacation. Yes, I do work every day. Yes, I still have stress over annoying issues, and no, I am not actually on vacation all the time. But all the things I once thought I wanted are becoming less and less important. Sure, I still have the need to be connected, and yes, the internet here does suck sometimes. Yet now, when it is down, I get annoyed for about two minutes and then I get up and go do something ‘offline’: I do the dishes, I cook, I iron the clothes I need to perform the wedding that afternoon. The internet will come back at some point and then I simply pick up where I left off. You see, the goal in life is not to work to retire some day; it is to work in such a way that you have the time to experience the joy of retirement every day of your life and to continue doing that until the day you die. The idea is to try as hard as you can NOT to have a career. Careers are a trap; they were invented by someone other than you, to condition you to do what it is they need from you. They condemn you to a huge study debt, which you end up paying off for the rest of your life with the same career you think you need in order to retire.
As I was walking back to the apartment, I stopped to buy a freshly squeezed orange juice from the nice older gentleman with a small stand at the corner of the street… for 15 pesos (0.75 EUR). I took my juice up to the apartment and sat down on the balcony to enjoy another view of the mountain. And as I sat there, I finally truly accepted that I do not want ‘a career’, I never really did. I don’t need to be in ‘the scene’, I do not need to be a part of all those things that were created to keep me bound to the system. I thoroughly enjoy the talks I have and the jokes I make with the boys at work, who live in a little town called Quimixto, which you can only get to by boat. They are genuinely interested in who I am and where I am from, as am I in them. They don’t have a preconceived idea about who I am or who I should be because of where I am from. They never asked what I studied, where I studied or where I worked before. They take the boat to work every day, or they walk 20 minutes through the jungle to get there. They have invited me to come over to their house sometime and just spend time together. There is one guy who I particularly like… and I believe he likes me too. We have been flirting for over three weeks now. I know his name, but I don’t know where he lives yet, nor how old he is. That doesn’t seem to matter. I don’t have his phone number and we’re not connected on Facebook. I did not ‘hook up’ with him through Grindr and I didn’t pick him up in the most popular gay bar in town. I just smiled at him at work and he smiled back. Now I am excited to go to work every time, because I know I will see him there. Sometimes I don’t have to go to work for several days and then the anticipation grows. Since I haven’t connected with him yet in any other way than in person, I have no way of communicating with him until I see him again. The next time will be tomorrow. This time I will ask him if he would like to go for a walk with me sometime…
When I went out to breakfast this morning, it was cloudy. The sky was grey. Yet I didn’t feel depressed like I would on a dark day in Holland. The smell of the mountains, of wood fires burning somewhere in a nearby jungle village, mixed with the salty ocean air, made me ignore the fact that it was cloudy. And now the sun came out and the clouds are slowly dissipating. I am happy! I am 36 years old and I am slowly starting to discover what it is I want to become when I grow up: someone who wakes up every day wanting to own less and to experience more… Have a fabulous weekend everyone!