13 February, 2013

No Fate but What We Make

It's taken me nearly two months to actually decide to publish this post. I wasn't sure I originally would, but I think I finally feel it's time. Perhaps that's a sign? 

19 December, 2012
 (My return flight after four month in Belgium)

I've been awake for nearly 24 hours and I'm emotionally exhausted. Every few seconds on the plane a thought would creep in and I'd have to force myself to stop the thought in order to stop from becoming an emotional wreck in the cabin. A few times the elderly woman beside me glanced over and I could tell I had caused her to feel my pain. That said, I'm back in The States.  I've been sitting here at Dulles since about 2 PM with delay after delay (It's now 9PM and we don't expect to arrive home till midnight). I've walked the corridors, purchased a cheeseburger, and I'm sitting with a Starbucks. Considering my predicament, any more of a description would likely beguile you with my sarcasm of arriving in an airport that has a FOX news store and a shop called "The American Store" which sells, I kid you not, "Don't Blame Me I Voted For Romney" T-Shirts. As if that fad wasn't worn out in oh say 1988, so let me stop here. You know how I feel, and well, lets just say I'm swallowing it with my corn-syrup infused Airport foods that United was kind enough to voucher me for as I sit here in, ironically, in the most American airport in the country: Washington D.C.

So I've had some time to think, and I've got to move on. I've ran the scenario in my head for weeks and there is no right answer, Hell, there's not even an answer that is even remotely sane enough for me to consider acceptable at this point. Indeed it became apparent somewhere a few weeks ago that I had missed a very important fact of those who I knew who had managed their life abroad: sacrifice. Most people had to sacrifice something monumental to arrive at where they are. I am both fortunate and unfortunate enough to realized this, and at least as of now, this is not a compromise I'm willing to make. I love my spouse and family too much.

So there, we said it. I'm not sure how it came to this: how a place and people somehow become synonymous with one another. I certainly didn't evoke this, but everyone including Shannon has. So I'm left to deal with the reality that I am unbelievably forced to confront this issue in words and say unequivocally that this is not ever a negotiable thing. I choose love. If someone out there chooses to believe that somehow this is at my expense (including Shannon), then so be it. But I've loved her from the day I met her and there is nothing, ever, that could possible change that. I've walked mountains, crossed oceans, seen Rome, Paris, and lived in Brussels, and I'm about to give it all up for love. Yes, I love her that much.

Now that I've been completely clear, it's time for some changes in my life. I need to give up some things in my life, add a few others, and modify a few things about who I am. I can't change my situation, but I can change who I am.

No fate but what we make.
Of course you're probably wondering, have I not changed enough already? The answer is no. The changes of the last four months have been passive, a result of experiences and geography. I'm deeply grateful for these changes, and indeed, most of us would likely consider reluctance or non-self-initiated change truly authentic. Perhaps in America we might even see changes as hypocritical if we actively force ourselves to evolve rather that allowing it to happen naturally. Frankly I don't care at this point and I'm going to do it anyways.

I need the challenge I had in Europe, I need that feeling I felt everyday as I became something more. If I don't decide to manufacture my own future in order to better myself, to bring me closer to who I want to become, well then, my fears become true, and I become obsolete.

This is how I get through the next few months, or years; this is how I go on. These changes may seem shocking to you and may worry you in the absence of my previous self, but let me assure you, whatever I become is better than the monster I am sitting in this terminal right now: someone without a future. If this is my destiny, I deny it, and choose to make my own fate.

Brussels Part 1 | Where it all began.

This collection of photos began upon arriving in Brussels, and represent just the first part of my life in Brussels. I hope to add the rest in the weeks to come. It's rather weird looking back at these now, knowing where I am now, and who I am. I was definitely a different person then.