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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Rearview Mirror

Gosh darn life can get busy - and just when you think it cannot get any busier - it does. I love it! But alas it makes for a rather neglected blog. (However, I have been lovin' the gentle reminders to post something new again. It means people actually read my ramblings :)

So today, this blog is going to be a little different from past ones.

I know I have said this before, but I truly cannot believe that I have been living on my own here in Austria for over a year. What a year. I am sure that for those who have read some of my early blogs, you could tell that it was not without its trials. Of particular fascination to me is the fact that today, my life resembles nothing like the life I started here. I suppose that is what happens when you begin with a blank canvas. You sort of get to decide in advance what baggage you want to pull out and share with everyone.

Many people have asked how I could leave everything - my son, my family, my friends, my own business and make such a change. In hindsight, I have absolutely no clue. I think it was more like I just did it and tried not to think too much about what I was leaving behind. (That is the best part of being busy, less time to be analytical and over think things.) I also left behind my spacious dream home with a view in Canada for a 78 square metre, ground floor flat. That was tough too. I had to do a bit of a paradigm shift in my thinking. I had no stuff near me from a life filled with hard work and acquiring the appropriate possessions to make me feel important or comforted.

But I am here. And now what?

Well I have to admit, the person I was when I moved here 15 months ago is no longer. And that is something that I am really okay with. For many years I felt that there was something out there is the world that would make my life better. Make me happier. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't unhappy, far from it, but somehow there was a restlessness inside me that I just could not satisfy. So what does that have to do with Austria? A lot. Because I no longer feel that way. What these past 15 months have taught me is that life is truly what you make of it. I am the sum of what I decide. So many of us carry around the damage and baggage of years past. We let fear limit us from from trying and testing the waters. We fear the loss of our stuff, the "things" that we acquired and that help validate us in times of need. We fear the unknown. I know. I have been there. What happens when we have no one and nothing? I know the answer to this one now. Nothing. Because you will never be that alone - and you may find that leaving your "stuff" actually feels pretty darn good when you get used to it.

And my family? My son is not the same kid, he is a pretty- awesome-soon-to-be-20-year-old-man who may actually one day take the plunge and move to Europe himself. I nearly hate to admit it, but I think he flourished in my absence. My family and friends are all good too.

So...what exactly am I trying to say here? Well,only that if hit a fork in the road and don't really know which what to go - try the path that scares you the most. And as you make your way, open your heart. You may shed some tears, stumble and even fall - but keep going. I promise that you will never be alone. And that one day you'll look back and wonder about the person you once were...

Me? Well 15 months in, I no longer know where home is. But, alas, that is something that my heart will one day decide.

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