Going to Costa Rica was the best thing I ever did.
I signed up for a mission doing volunteer work in Costa Rica because in 2009 I was suffering through the worst depression of my life. I had met a girl from Bangladesh and she got married back in her country over the summer. The problem was not just that I was permanently separated from someone I deeply loved; the problem was having so few deep relationships that one breakup could lead me to sink so low. I always felt alone in crowded places, I always saw couples everywhere and most people were happy to treat me like I didn't exist. In fact, when I traveled to California I had to venture out to gay bars to meet friendly people. I am straight but that doesn't matter because I wasn't thinking about sexual orientation; I was thinking about who is friendly and who isn't. I just went in there without fear and without judgment and they loved me for it. Gay people are sick of being judged and I was sick of being judged. Simple as that.
Ultimately it was my open mind that led me to Costa Rica because I could no longer tolerate my comfort zone. Working out at the gym was nice but it was getting me nowhere. Going to school was getting me nowhere. There comes a point in life that everything has to change. Sure I was scared to be going to a foreign country away from everything that was familiar but I was more afraid of doing nothing about my unhappiness.
From the first day I was there I found beautiful women were interested in me which I really was not used to. From what I experienced women were trapped in these cliques looking at the world with these frowny faces and showing me the backs of their heads. I graduated high school in 2006 but I felt like it just never ended. I wanted to mature from high school and create healthy relationships with everyone but so many people were trapped in their days as the popular chicks who were too good to talk to anyone. Costa Rica turned my world upside down and in the best way. Someone in the USA will always reply that they just want money and a green card to come here but they don't know what the hell they are talking about. Americans think Costa Rica is Puerto Rico. They think everyone there lives in the jungle and they cannot afford shoes. It is just not true. Costa Rica may not be as obscenely wealthy as the United States but generally they were the happiest people I ever met with a rich culture and a rich love for human beings. This girl I know - Ana Cristina invited us all to her house in Tuccurique for two weekends but she left a strong impression upon me. One of the sweetest human beings I have ever known, she was always smiling, always treating everyone like family no matter what country we came from. She is perfectly contented, even overjoyed with her simple life in a little pink house living with her family. Donald Trump could have proposed to her and she could live in a mansion in New York but she doesn't want that. She doesn't want to sell her soul and work for Satan.
Unfortunately I had to come back to the States and I have been living here three years feeling more pissed off with every year that passes. I don't find people are open-minded anymore nor do they value their relationships. I have to go places alone all the damn time because all of my friends are working until friggin' 1 in the morning. I am a writer so I keep a journal and when I sit at a table to write a private thought that I have, somebody thinks it is about them. The whole reason that I keep a journal is because that is how I keep sanity. Do you know how monotonous it is to go out alone but to keep persisting week after week, day after day? Basically, to cope with the culture here I have made basketball into a religion by going to the gym every day to shoot baskets. I have recorded almost 47,000 three-pointers in two years just to prove to myself that I can and hell, at least I am not sinking into miserable depression again. I have also started rewarding myself with Indian food so thank God for India.
There is a very real difference between being genuinely happy and just doing the best you can. The people in Costa Rica are genuinely happy and I am simply pretending every day. Therapists are always telling me to "fake it till you make it" and in the long run that just makes us more and more unhealthy. And America is unhealthy.