Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.
That feeling you get just before a big trip, a big event, something special, something cool, something unusually fun, that anticipation, that restlessness of being stuck in the now and not yet metamorphosed from this pregnant moment into my imminent future, into that bit possibility of tomorrow.
That’s what I’m feeling right now as I teeter on the cusp of here/there.
I can hardly stand being here.
Change is in the works. Big change for me. I’m moving. Not a big deal most of the time however this one is different. I’m not moving across the street, across town, to another town, or to another province. No, I’m moving to another country. One that lies across the wide Atlantic waters. It is in Europe, Germany to be exact.
In the past few months I’ve been preoccupied with selling my possessions because shipping that far is simply out of the financial question. And it is easier to replace than to ship in one sense. Not that I had a lot of stuff in this apartment but still I was surprised by how much stuff I had been hanging onto. Dragged these things along in very move; and I moved regularly being Canadian. Apparently it is in our nature to move frequently, if we don’t own a house or homestead. Things that had been collected, assembled, tucked away, stored, boxed, shelved etc. Stuff.
Not super important stuff I now discovered. I had not interacted/used/looked at most of the stuff that makes up my every day decor/clutter. Did I need it? Apparently not. Do I keep it now? No. Hard decisions, decisions I put off making in many cases until the very last moment. It is hard to face the hard truth when facing a life changing event. I did make those decisions. Being a photographer with a few years under my belt, that meant dealing with negatives. A negative feeling accompanied that decision making and I decided to rid myself of the sheer weight of binder full of B&W negatives because I don’t foresee myself looking through and then scanning any of those formative compositions. It was a hard choice but one I had to make.
One of those decisions. Selling stuff was the first choice, with some success and some not so successful selling due to increasing time pressures. This was a moment that brought a new decision to mind. Paying forward. I’ve been very fortunate in my life and have received here and there. It was time to act in the same manner and pass goodness along. I was delighted in the process and to find someone who could use that which I was paying forward resulted in a sweetness of the emotion when that person expressed heartfelt gratitude and thanks. In return I felt gratitude in being able to do it.
That has been one of the sweeter experiences in this paring down process. What is not so sweet is the fact that this kind of huge change is not something that I was mentally or emotionally prepared for and now to stand on the other side of the difficult decisions I feel freer, a bit insecure in a way but confident in having made the right choices.
Why am I doing this at this point in my life? I’m middle aged. Is it a mid life crisis? No. I recently married a woman whom I have loved, love, am in love with and cherish. She happens to live in Germany. I have history in the country and that’s why it is also such a sweet pain/experience. I’ve made a choice and am happy to make this move.
Starting fresh but not on Zero. Love is floating this choice. Love is the light that illuminates my heart and love is where I want to be. She is my love and my heart is and has been where she is for some time now. I can’t change the first half of my life, but I can write the second half.
1. Take care of yourself, it is your power
2. Do what makes you happy, you know what that is
3. Be honest
4. Live love if you have it in your life
5. Smile when you’re out and about
6. Pay attention to Karma, she’s everywhere
7. Don’t visit Vancouver, BC, it ALWAYS rains
8. Change yourself, you can’t change others
9. Look up or around, real life is lived away from your ‘device’
10. Don’t believe everything you think, or everything you read or hear
All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
Anatole France (1844 – 1924), a French poet, journalist, and novelist
You might have experienced this dear reader. You grew up in a very different place than the one you now call home. And yet you feel an odd connection, sometimes strong, sometimes vague and at times nearly imperceptible; but it is a connection that simply will not let you forget.
It is something very real that you have not had any control over other than to have spent a significant amount of time living in or had a formative experience that bonds and binds you to a place like a deep memory. Perhaps you identify with that place in a familial sense in that your family is from there. Those are the strongest types of bonds in terms of people who have up and left for greener pastures somewhere else on this marble we call earth.
I am living one such experience. For the past 30+ years I have made ‘somewhere, Canada’ my home albeit with the distinct feeling that I feel very connected to ‘someplace, Germany’; a country in which I grew through kindergarten an primary school and on, onto a private school experience and then a sudden and somewhat unexpected transplantation back to the north American continent in my late teens. A time when I did not identify with things north American even though I was/am Canadian by citizenship. It was a strange polarity, being one thing and living in another reality. A twilight existence if you will.
Longish story short, in the past two years I have made a number of trips back to that place in Germany … something I had not considered too much in all those intervening years. Actually I had settled myself with the notion, the idea that I would not go back there. I had no need to and no real interest and the older I got the more … well, one settles into patterns and the past is the past. Done.
Then suddenly … a sea change in thinking, adjusted by an emotional condition called love. I fell in love, again. With someone from my much younger past. It was as unexpected as it was wonderful, a total change in being and because she lived over there and I here, the ensuing relationship requires some frequent back and forth travel (that in itself a decent arguement for time travel or at least instantaneous travel as far as I’m concerned, lol).
The first visit back after many many years was an emotional experience as I knew it would be. Hell, returning for a brief summer visit after my first school years away was more emotional than I could have imagined. Now, much older and wiser, the emotional ties were still taut and strong, something I have had to adjust to but they are easier to accept than forced. I also have the freedom to consider these ties at my leisure and yet as I ponder my future choices, I am considering more than just that.
Granted things in life are not always as simple as one would like and much more complicated than anticipated but still, it is our choices that drive us forward and carry us along on life’s unpredictable and eventful currents. And now I have another choice to make, one that I make out of love and a familiarity long cherished and all the rest will fall into place when the necessary steps are taken. Make the first step and the path becomes clearer.
Choosing is something the heart has no trouble with if intentions are pure. Finding the balance between thinking head and ones emotional considerations … now there is the trick to staying on the ball. Being open to change and open to experience is a wonderful way to be … it take a wee bit of courage and fearlessness but the excitement of love and what tomorrow will bring is thrilling, something to be savored in this short life we live.