I've been thinking a lot about everything lately. The big things, the little things, everything. I changed families about a week and a half ago, an event that came up very quickly and took all of three days to happen. My host family hit some unexpected problems, and it was decided that the best option for me was to change to a new home. My new family is very different, but I think it'll work out very well. I now have a new set of host parents and an older host sister who is much closer to my age than Nathan was. I live farther out into the country than I used to, but it's beautiful. There's a huge farm, lots of family right near by, a dog that can carry my shoes, and a parrot that can bark like a dog. They've hosted before, so they know what it's like for an exchange student. More than anything, they're nice, welcoming, and after only a few days the Matamoros household is starting to feel like home.
It's a lot of change though. I lived in the house frente a la iglesia de San Juan for more or less 3 months, Although my time had its highs and lows, it still made an impression on me. And with a new address I now have to change up my routine and take the bus. Which is still a little scary, not gonna lie.
My midstay orientation in Nicaragua was the past couple of days. It was really good, as it always is with the AFS kids. We were in Grenada, which is actually really pretty. We walked got to see the city, go to a lagoon, go to a big market where I haggeld my way to a $9 hammock, and go out dancing twice (once in a club that had a pool that of course my friends had to push me in). Despite all the Tico trash talk of Nicaragua, I found it quite nice. It was super hot, and you could see how much poorer it was than Costa Rica, but it was still beautiful.
But in between bus rides and orientations and time spent laying in bed in a new house I've had a lot of time to think, like I said, about absolutely everything. And I think I just may have figured it out.
I thought about the past, about everything I've done, everywhere I'e gone, everyone I've met. I have so many good memories and so many things I'm glad happened exactly the way they did, and just like everyone else I have tons of regrets and what ifs. But dwelling on low points wont make them better, just as living in the best moments of the past wont make them happen again.
And as I thought about all that, my mind drifted to the future. Now normally that's just fine and dandy, dreams are cool, but I started to notice that there are so many things that have happened to me that I never dreamed of in the past, and I realized that my future is just as utterly unimaginable.
And then it hit me. In all the thoughts of moments gone by and moments yet to come, the moment that is happening right now is slipping away, I'm in Costa Rica, a country that was never part of my plan, with all these people I never could have predicted meeting, doing things that I never even considered doing. But it doesn't matter that it was never something I could have thought to think about. All that matters is that it's happening.
This moment, this one right now, is only here for an instant. But in the instant that it's here, it's all that matters. And once it's gone, it's not a big deal, because there's another one, another right now. And this instant should be perfect, it should be exactly what it should be, because it's the most important thing. Forget about the past, forget about the future, and just be happy. Because right now, right now, nothing else matters.
I've done so much. I've spent a year in France, a semester in Costa Rica, a season as a nanny, and a summer taking trains across Europe. I've met so many people, made so many friends, seen so many things. I can't even begin to cover it all, to tell all the stories. I've had experiences that I thought never happened to "people like me" and learned that "people like me" is just in my head.
And I'm so happy that it happened, all of it. But more than that, I'm happy to be in this moment. I'm happy to be sitting in the internet cafe across the street from SiNEM in San Ramon, where it's raining and the person next to me is speaking Spanish a little too loudly into a cell phone. And I know that it'll be impossible to always appreciate now, to not have my heart in the past and my head in the future, but I'm sure as anything going to try.
It's a crazy life. But it's a life worth living. And if every "right now" is full of happiness, there'll be no need to be stuck in any other time for more than just a quick visit. There'll be no regrets, nothing to be ashamed of.
This second, the one that is currently happening, is what life is all about.