Down to day four on the countdown: This was the year I let go of any remaining perfectionism from my teens and twenties. Parenthood took care of most of that, but publishing daily blog posts did the rest.
What does this have to do with Costa Rica? Well, I think perfectionism and national origin intersect in interesting ways. I know plenty of perfectionist Costa Ricans; in fact, I’ve had more discussions than is really necessary in life about how the country’s rather serious approach to karaoke than the boisterous, silly U.S. approach. There are many areas where people from my country are probably looser and more relaxed, or just plain negligent by comparison, as in the case of children’s hair grooming. (Trust me on this one. I’m lucky no one has ever called social services because of the low standards I maintain in the braiding department.)
On the other hand, as I’ve written before, there is a certain straight-laced-ness to North Americans that I don’t find here. I’m often less comfortable than the people around me to wing it, or make up a homemade solution, or try at home something that in my book is only done by authorities holding the proper permits, like a major fireworks display. I’m from the land that created square-jawed Superman; Latin America is the home of el Chapulín Colorado. So I like to think that by shedding some of the caution of the editor and the straight-A student, I’ve leaned a little bit into the culture I’ve chosen.
I used to keep my scribblings to myself, never good enough to show anyone at all. It’s been instructive, over the past 12 months, to sometimes throw something up on the screen at 11 pm, as I am tonight. I apologize to those who’ve read my less coherent musings. At the same time, I recommend it highly. I wish I had a better closer here – but this’ll do.