20 September, 2012

Love Versus Need

Love Versus Need.
I walk off the Marius Renard tram, down the escalator at Saint Guidon where I stand beside a trench of cables and rails. The ground begins to shake, a breeze begins to blow against my face, my hair begins to tousle, and a roar from the dark tunnel indicates my pending train. For a moment I close my eyes, and I brace for the impact fearful that when I open them I won't be here in Brussels. That I won't be the person who I've become as a result of this journey. That it was all imagined, a dream, and I'll wake up in that horrible cubicle of corporate Hell I once defined as my life.

The last five years of my life have been like a whirlwind of running, flying, and amazing times. I wouldn't trade this life for fortune and fame, nor would I ever return to who I was before: that shadow of a person, from which I've now come a long way from. (Thank you Nickelback and Avicii.)

Life it seems has a way of teaching you lessons. Some of us refuse to be learned. It took me a month of time separated from loved ones and 4186 miles for me to learn exactly the difference between love and need. Upon first meeting a new acquaintance at school here in Brussels and them finding out I have a committed relationship with two kids at home, their exact response, every time is, "that must be hard?" Indeed it was this sentiment by several friends back at home, as they paralleled their own commitments as justification for them never being able to follow in my foot-steps. The answer to the question however, which you likely won't expect unless you've already villainized my character, is that it's not too hard.

Sure the first few times I was asked I did the societal norm of saying "yes", but to be blunt (and downright honest) the hardest part of it all was leaving. Being gone, and talking to them almost nightly reminds me how little they actually need me. Their lives have gone on in much of a similar fashion had they if I was in their presence. We never needed each other all that much despite protests from them when technology goes awry. Do I miss them? Like you couldn't imagine! That's just it though, love isn't need. The lesson is, love is want. I still, despite the most incredible, most wonderful adventures I have everyday here in Brussels, want my the companionship of my family. If they, or I needed each other, then where's the love in that? Love is not compulsory, it's a gift, it's sacrifice, it's something that should give you strength, it should give you comfort, and most importantly it should give you everything you need, without requiring you to be less than your best, your happiest, and most importantly... who you might become. I need love.