In my late 20s, I had a boyfriend who believed life was usually mundane and only contained small moments of glee (his word – not mine). Being a naturally positive person, I passionately disagreed with him. I pointed out all the happy moments we spent together, the fulfillment he received from his career and the fun times he enjoyed with friends. However, he was not swayed by my platitudes. Remember, this is the same guy that did not enjoy my fascination with clichés.! Clearly, we were not meant to be together.! jajaja…
Over the years, I have thought about what he said and I still do not agree with him. I believe that life is as happy, unhappy, boring, exciting, mundane or as exhilirating as you make it to be.! However, I do also believe that there are some moments that top the bliss scale.!! These blissful moments happen when we feel truly connected and truly alive.! I have had several of these sublime moments in my life, but the one that stands out in my head occurred upon my return to Playa in December of 2011.
I had been living in Playa del Carmen in late 2010 and early 2011, but I had returned to Chicago in June of 2011. At the time, I felt that it was the right decision. My father was getting on in years, my family and most of my friends lived there. Plus, I believed I could and would make more money. So I packed my belongings and spent a week going to goodbye parties or despedidas in my honor.!! I have to say that was a lot of fun..!!
Then I returned to Chicago and set about making a routine for myself. I saw my family, I spent time with friends, and I looked for a job. However, I was completely unhappy for the first time in my life. I felt so disconnected from everything I had known growing up in Chicago and longed to return to Mexico. Somewhere deep inside, I felt like I had failed. I had embarked on this epic adventure only to give up so soon and return home. I was no Columbus, no Magellan, no Lewis and Clark. I was the status quo.
My family and friends noticed how unhappy I looked. While my body was physically in Chicago, neither my heart nor my mind had boarded that flight with me. Eventually, my family started to ask me would I return and I started to say maybe. After months of discouraging job prospects, my friends also inquired would I be returning as I had a job possibility in Mexico. Finally, my novio asked me would I return. I looked at the non-life I had been living in Chicago just because it made everyone else happy. And then I looked at the life I had and could have again in Mexico that made me happy. I began to cry and I knew I had to return.
In December of 2011, I took a flight back to Mexico and made my way to my temporary housing. One of my really good friends A. was playing in a soccer game the next night and invited me. I would be reunited with my friends in less than twenty four hours. I unpacked, had dinner and went to sleep. The following evening, my novio picked me up and we had dinner and caught up on all of our crazy stories.! Then we took a taxi to the soccer game on the outskirts of Playa. Soccer games are usually held around 11pm at night because so many Playa residents work in the tourist industry!
When we arrived at the game, there was an amazing assortment of so many people we both knew who we had not seen in months.! My friend K. was there too!! We had spent so many evenings drinking wine and talking about men.! It was great to see her. Funny enough, one of the guys on the soccer team is also Croatian. I worked with his wife the first time I lived in Playa. After many greetings, the game finally began.! Drinks came out and everyone shared their beers, rum, and tequila with each other. Everyone talked, laughed, and cheered.! Someone even took our their trumpet and started playing a tune at the game.
I was so happy. Here I was a Croatian-American girl in the soccer stands of Playa del Carmen cheering on a Mexican team that had one Croatian player on it.! What a small and enchanting world.! I was having so much fun talking to everyone and reuniting with K. We were laughing so hard that we could hardly breathe.!! Plus, we were enjoying the antics of the men around us and on the field. At one point when I was laughing so hard, I caught my novio looking at me. Our eyes locked on each other and in that moment, I felt pure joy.!! The moment was so sublime that the memory itself has sustained me at the most trying of present moments.
And to make the night even more magical, our team won the gold trophy.! We then set out to celebrate at our favorite local hangout, Click. Everyone continued to share stories, jokes, and drinks. The night was amazing.!! It was so wonderful that not one of us took any photos. I have no proof of that night happening except in my memory and the memories of those who were celebrating with me.
Any photos represented here today are of my friends and our many other exploits, but no photos are from that night. That night was special to me because I was truly alive and truly at one with my soul’s desire and purpose. I truly could not have had a better homecoming to Playa.! Since then, my soul’s purpose has altered and I wish that I could live in both Chicago and Playa. Now that would be utterly sublime.!!