If you haven’t read Part I, do so here.
“Pierre and I have been to Puerto Rico every year since 2012, but being here with the kids has messed me up completely. I never thought I would be so attracted to the simple life. You don’t need much here. Nature provides it all. You instinctively go to bed early and wake up with the sun. You naturally want to be outside exploring. You don’t feel the constant hustle, bustle, and grind of having to make something out of yourself. You just live. You breathe. You relax. The salt water cleanses away your physical and mental toxins. The sunlight energizes and focuses you. I could live here. We could totally live here.”
That was my Facebook status the day before I came home to New Jersey from Isabela, Puerto Rico. People responded with comments like, “So glad you’re having a great time!” but I wrote that out of turmoil. When I tell you the trip messed me up, it really, really did. I had literally told Pierre on every trip to PR before this that I loved visiting but could never live there in a million years. I needed my city life, my cushy suburban “soccer mom” life (my kids don’t play soccer, but you get the idea). Suddenly I was having an epiphany and a passion for this PR way of life that came seemingly out of nowhere.
I cannot describe in words the depth of depression I felt when I came home. I fell asleep sobbing secretly that night, woke up with makeup all over my face, went downstairs to be alone, and found Pierre in my office. I turned around to go back upstairs, but he beckoned me.
There I laid quietly in his arms, wanting him to know instinctively there was something wrong, and ask me about it. Of course he knew. He knew the night before at the airport and was told flat out to stop asking me because it was all I could do to keep myself together at JFK. Him asking if I was alright was making me feel like crying on the spot. I realized the dichotomy in this as I sat there in silence with him, so I voluntarily started talking. I told him everything in my previous post.
I thought he would agree that I had been way off in my desire, caught up in vacation bliss, and that he would try to comfort me for my stupidity. I thought he would feel off the hook and ready to resume a normal life, leaving me to sulk by myself. Deep down I knew I wasn’t wrong about my vision to move to Puerto Rico and I wanted him to convince me for a change.
Surprisingly, he did.
He spoke and spoke and spoke, and while he did I kept picturing simple solutions to all the logistics that had seemed paralyzingly complex the day before. He kept flip flopping between yay and nay, but I knew he was just processing out loud more than anything else. I realized that he had been hit with the same sudden passion and deep desire that I had.
By the end of the conversation, we had discussed the cons of moving there and realized it paled in comparison to the pros. So I said let’s do it – let’s move to Puerto Rico – and he whispered with a smile, “Ok.” What started out as a crazy idea to downsize and get away for maybe a year, after much deliberation, turned into a decision to make Puerto Rico our permanent long-term residence.
Later that morning my mother-in-law came over. We were chatting about her life when Pierre burst into the room to say he was having a call with the powers that be on his job. His mom asked if he was going to work someplace else. I figured that was a good enough segway, so I said, “No. We’re moving. To Puerto Rico.” She said, “WHAT?!” I explained our reasons, and she must’ve seen my passion because she agreed that it was the best move, calling it a rebirth. She even said she’ll move down there once she retires in two years. I was grateful and relieved that she gave us her blessing.
So did Pierre’s job. They were immediately on board and began discussing how he could support the company in Central and South America, as well as Puerto Rico and Florida. They agreed on the spot to transfer him with equal pay. We decided the best thing to do would be to find a furnished apartment in Isabela to rent for a year or two, then buy land and build our dream home…the one from my children’s vision boards.
I always say provision comes with a decision.
In the days to follow we found an awesome 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom furnished condo on the beach in Isabela to rent – in a gated community with a pool, gym, playground, basketball and tennis courts. I researched Young Living and Homeschooling in Puerto Rico and found out I could continue seamlessly with both. My friend and next door neighbor decided to accept the Director position of the school I opened last year here in Englewood. The one family in the school I was concerned about leaving called to tell me they’re moving to California next month. Another business opportunity presented itself for my husband in the housing industry. He also found out his cousin shares his love of marketing and they launched a company together that will expand to Puerto Rico when we get there.
I found an organic local farm in Isabela, connected online with local Homeschoolers in Puerto Rico, and we’ve already begun showing the house in Englewood to potential renters. We decided we are going to sell our BMW, ship our Honda Odyssey to Puerto Rico, sell and giveaway pretty much everything, and move with basically what we can take on the plane. Since the condo there is completely furnished, we won’t have to purchase much once we get there. The housing industry opportunity will provide Pierre with an outfitted office to work from.
As for the kids, they are elated. When Joshua woke up the next morning after we got back, he immediately started cleaning out his room of garbage, giveaways, and items to sell. Apparently, he never got the memo of my breakdown and temporary change of plans. He was full speed ahead and told his sisters to do the same. By the end of the day he had 8 huge bags out in the hall and his room was spotless – seriously, for like the first time ever.
Every day that passes we see more and more favor, experiencing the confirmation that we are on the right path. When I called the Lord to the carpet, asking why He never showed me this part of my destiny, He said I’m on a need to know basis. Yeah, I get that. All I want is His will, and when He says jump, I never ask how high. I start jumping and figure out the particulars later. Had He told me years ago that I’d be living in Puerto Rico, I would’ve screwed that up big time. My timing would’ve been way off. When I asked Him about my BHAG and all the things I’ve envisioned for our future, He said, “You placed those things in New Jersey. I didn’t.”
At the time of this writing, Puerto Rico has defaulted billions in debt, is closing down over 170 public schools, and has seen an exodus upwards of 3 million residents in the last decade. I’m not saying we have all the answers, but I know we have a small piece, and I cannot wait to join the beautiful tapestry of restoration in a place so dear to my heart. I know this sudden move on our part isn’t sudden at all to God. I look forward to this new chapter, which starts September 1st of this year. Humbly, obediently, soberly, and excitedly we will joyfully make our way to where we belong.
Hola, Mi Gente!