Yesterday I wrote a little bit about my little romance with the city I live in at the moment. Especially if it gives me a beautiful scenery in snow. But today I got to think about that end part of the movie. When we flash forward to five years later and you see what could have been instead of what is. I don’t want to give too much away for those that haven’t seen it yet. But one message remains. Life isn’t always a Hollywood movie with a happy ending in the fairy tale type way.
Sacrifices. Living your dream is beautiful. I wish everyone could live their dream. But that doesn’t always mean you can have everything in the world. Take the example of athletes. This weekend was the world championship speed skating. I am not great at it, but I love watching it. Those athletes give up so, so much to achieve that one golden medal. Okay, maybe that’s an extreme example, but I think the analogy still holds. I am leaving soon. To go after a dream, but I am also going to be away from home for a long time. I am also going to have to make some sacrifices.
The long distance thing isn’t new. I am blessed to have many sisters and brothers all over the world. They might not have the same DNA as I do, but they are family. I have friends and coworkers and study buddies all around the globe too. I don’t keep in touch with them all on a regular basis, but if I would ever be in an area, I know I would have a home to go to. So in that sense, I see those long distance relationships as a blessing to my life. So those aren’t the issue. I’ve gotten used to living with people very dear to me, very far away.
I am probably also going to give up some level of comfort. Living in a Western European country means that I have access to some of the best tab water in the world at any time. There are always warm showers. Fresh fruits and vegetables from all over the world at all times of the year. I have my own room with my own bed. Concerning the material, I have basically everything I could ask for. But I have never cared too much for the material side of this world. So even though I’d love a warm bath ones in a while, I can do with bucket showers and sleeping on old, heavy metal beds in brown tents.
What I was thinking about today, was not about the material side of things or giving up the proximity of certain people. By now I know that I can live without certain material privileges and I know that the relationships that truly matter will survive the distance. It’s about something else. I feel like I have made a choice that will influence a significant part of my future. Maybe it will just be my near future. Maybe it’s just for a year or two. But still. I am choosing not to settle down. Not to stick with my safe office job surrounded by people in their early thirties that are buying houses and raising children.
Somewhere I feel that I am making a weird, out of the ordinary choice. Because a 24-year-old girl, woman, in the most productive years of her life, should use those eggs, right? Instead of letting them die one by one every month. Shouldn’t I find a nice guy, like the one I set next to in church today, and start my own family? Grow in my job, find a house, marry, have babies. You know what I mean.
But somewhere deep down in me, everything in me screams not to do that just yet. Because there is so much world out there that I haven’t seen and explored yet. Because of my office-type life in the past few weeks I have gotten a pretty good idea of what my life would look like if I would stay. It’s not that I don’t want that life, or that it’s not good enough for me. On the contrary, I am just not ready for it. I feel that by giving up my wish to settle down some day has again been postponed with a concrete date in mind, because it’s going to be at least a year. And giving up the current house I live in and the job that I have is a sacrifice.
However, it is a sacrifice that I am willing to make. Because no one ever told me life was going to be easy. This morning my pastor reminded me: “If you really let Jesus meet you in your life, be prepared for change. You won’t be the same person anymore. You might have to go to places you didn’t even know existed.” So that means that sacrifices are always to be made. Maybe you are not going anywhere. Maybe not running away is exactly the type of sacrifice you will have to make.
I hope I can learn from my thoughts today and keep them alive. I am hoping to share my joy as well as my fears with you in the coming weeks. What I am going to have to give up and what I am receiving instead. The beautiful contradictions of what we all call ‘living’.
In case you are far away from those you love, I saw this cute video of a creative way to express a long distance love through art. I might keep this idea in mind in case I am in need for ideas some day. And since this blog might be here for a while and stuff never disappears on the Internet, I might as well share it here with you all.