Living in Central America for 8 Weeks: Freedom (Part IV)

Dictionary.com defines freedom as “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.”

Here are a few truths about me:

I am probably the most liberal person you know, politically and non-politically. In general, I believe everyone should do what they want to do. I don’t believe in being reckless, per se, but even if someone decides to be, then I think even that’s their right. My screensaver says, “You do you. I’ll do me.” This is my mantra.

I don’t believe in having “bosses.” I have a couple of friends who call the person directly over me my “boss.” That’s not odd, I suppose. Most people do. But I always reject the term. In my mind, when I work somewhere, I’m in collaboration. You’re probably over me because you or someone else decided you were the best, most efficient person to organize and disseminate information (this is usually the educational hierarchy). We work together, and I have the freedom to agree to do something or decline doing something, with the onus of consequence on me. This is how I’ve operated at my last four jobs.

I am married to a man who doesn’t ask a lot of questions about my whereabouts. If I leave the house and say, “I’ll be back in four hours,” he doesn’t call me every sixty minutes asking me questions…about anything. When I left last year to visit Panama City Beach by myself, we verbally checked in once a day. I could never be with someone who required more; it would seem a bit naggy to me.

In my non-romantic relationships (e.g., family and friends) I function in similar ways. If you want me to call you every day, I’m not the friend for you. If you want me to reach out every Sunday at 2pm just so you can hear my voice, I’m not the right family member for you. I text when I’m thinking about you (sometimes), and if you cannot text, like my ninety-something-year-old grandmother, then I call…like once a month.

Back to living in Central America…

I outlined reasons we left the country, but I also knew I needed to leave for a change of scenery. Dwight chose the perfect Costa Rican Airbnb in the mountains. I’m more of a beach and metropolitan person, but it was refreshing to wake up, cook food, and sleep surrounded by mountains. And although Panamá City is a metropolis that is a lot like other major cities in the States, it’s not North America. It’s like living in a history lesson with people who are stuck in a colonial time capsule.

I needed to see other people and what they were doing. It was interesting to watch how Costa Ricans got to and from work every day. People rode horses; some walked; others biked; many drove motorcycles. It was cool joining the Ticos’ rhythm and abandoning my own. Though hearing roosters at six in the morning was annoying, I grew used to it. It became a part of my surroundings.

I needed to speak with people different than myself. From first through eleventh grades, I learned Spanish. I didn’t think I was as fluent as I am. It turns out that children who learn a language early on store it together with their native language. I’m not saying I can hold a quick-paced conversation with a Panamanian, but I can certainly understand what the Uber driver is saying, who by the way rated my Spanish as “que bien.” It was fun for me to recall words I thought I’d forgotten, but apparently are stuck in my brain somewhere. Speaking with people in another language challenged me in ways it wouldn’t have at home.

Some people are born to be quiet to demonstrate the value of silence; others are meant to be painters as a way to help us see the world differently. I was born with a natural sense of freedom that requires a certain lifestyle, and I think the result is I get to show people how to be free. This trip has reinforced who I know myself to be.



39 thoughts on “Living in Central America for 8 Weeks: Freedom (Part IV)

  1. Yeah–the whole “bosses” in academia thing is just weird. I am CONSTANTLY telling one of my colleagues that I am not the boss. I’m a little bossy, yes (gotta be when you grow up in a house full of kids with 3 little ones beneath you), but we COLLABORATE, sis!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, for sure…you of all people get this!

      At this level, any of us could be in charge of something, like really. So, it really is a matter of choice or circumstance that someone with a PhD is in a “leadership position” lol

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how you WALK YOUR TALK. Literally Dr. G! The photos and the life lessons encourage us all to delve deeper into the mystery of who we are – independent of public opinion. You should turn this series into a class and/or book on FREE THINKING AND LIVING. So gooood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dr D! You know I miss you ❤

      So, yes. I decided about six years ago that my online and offline persona need to match. I also decided how I feel on the inside should mirror whatever is happening on the outside. So far, so good lol

      Girl, you know if I turned this into a class, then people would make it like "Steps to living free" or something like that lol I think there are only like 2 steps: figure out who you are and be brave enough to be that person all the time 😉 Now…give me $99.95 lol

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I like your view on bosses , I also don’t really like working for others . I do my own dog grooming and some pet sitting (before covid) and I really liked the freedom of making my own hours and such .
    Also you know spanish ! Aw I’m so envious . I’ve been trying to learn it for years , haha but just cause most of my family speaks it , I still can only pick out a few words .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I don’t mind working for someone, I just don’t like the suggestion that I have to do everything someone says just because they’re “over” me.

      I don’t think I knew that about you! Dog grooming and pet sitting sounds like a really interesting business.

      You, too, can know Spanish girl lol

      I feel as if I’m here to push you to learn Spanish, go get some ceviche, become a falconer, and go to Mexico…did I leave anything out? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dog grooming is pretty interesting , but wow some of client’s can get pretty dirty . I remember one dog I groomed, their fur was so thick and knotted up that it broke one of blades 😂😂
        Haha , nope I think that seems like a good lost of things to do ! I definitely need to get some ceviche and learn Spanish . The falconry may have to take a while lol but he at least I’ll be bilingual .

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed and appreciated reading the truths about you – so clear and I relate to not relating to any labels whatsoever. Designations at work are descriptions of work responsibilities and we respect each other for what that is. I love your screen saver and your Costa Rican getaway in the mountains sound wonderful. I have been good at allowing people to You do you but took time to build the conviction to I do Me. Still learning 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pragalbha, I wish the No Labels; Do Work could be a global movement! I’m glad you get what I’m saying here. So far, people just think I have problem with authority lol

      I do me, ironically, is at the crux of today’s lesson learned 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It sounds like this trip was refreshing, Katherin. Not everything was sweet (roosters can be annoying), but I love that you could fully appreciate getting away. It was a stifling year of monotony and what a perfect change this must have been.
    I’m guessing you came home refreshed and recharged!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haaaave Judy! In fact, that’s one of the lessons I’ll eventually get to…nothing is perfect (or something like that). It was a great trip, but yeah…roosters at 5a is a no-go for me lol

      But I do feel great. Friends have been saying I look and sound much calmer.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You are fascinating! I love your philosophy on having a “boss” and I was nodding my head in agreement to all said regarding connectedness and communication.
    I admire your action to travel and appreciate that you are sharing your adventures with us 😊🌺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting…and complimenting me 😉

      I was just telling someone else I wish the boss/work thing could be a global movement. Mostly when I say it, I get weird looks and accusations of having issues with authority lol

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love your freedom concept! I prefer infrequent contact with friends and family I don’t live with too. Some of them I call “needy”, and they call/text me much more often! Sometimes I just don’t answer the phone. LOL I refuse to interrupt my dinner with a phone call or text. I just don’t answer. I guess some people would think that is rude, but I consider it my perogative. I guess that’s my “no guilt” philosophy. LOL

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I loved reading this and remembering what it’s like to be somewhere else. I like a longish stay so I can get a feel for the community. I’m so happy for you to be doing this- thanks for sharing about it with us!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for this comment Irena! (I hope you’ve been doing well).

      I agree about long stays. I think that’s one of my other lessons that I’ll share soon…can’t remember what day lol

      Like

  9. Perhaps you are more libertarian than liberal? As a side note, I got stuck in traffic today and remembered your post. I didn’t have anyone with a mattress falling off of their car, but there was a big, slow tractor trailer hauling some really odiferous things. Anyway, I practiced patience and resisted any manifestation of a single finger rising into the air. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rob, I just looked up the difference between the two (can’t believe I hadn’t done that before), and you may be right.

      And LOL I’m going to count no middle finger to the trailer person as a win lol

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Enjoyed reading every line …every thought expressed…..maybe you are right why the person senior be termed as a boss…why can’t we all be just colloborators for the same cause…we do need each other to achieve the overall aim…I will do as I do and you do as you do..is a great life mantra .
    Stay blessed always 🙏🌹🙏

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for this affirming comment Jas! I appreciate it, and I love the Big Buddha you have as your photo.

      I truly wish we’d all just let everyone be…as is.

      Like

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