“It might be that you are never satisfied?” That was the counter question of a friend as I told her that I don’t know why I couldn’t just settle down somewhere and be happy.
That friend became very close the past 1,5 years, as I was again working and living closer back home and had the chance to meet up with her every once in a while in Munich. I remember sitting with her in a bar, talking about which job I should take and where to move. I was so certain to know what I wanted, a new job in the engineering industry, higher salary and living in the Alps. Certain having nature around me would give me enough joy and happiness if the job was not satisfying me. It came differently and after a year, I invited my boss to a private meeting and told him, with as much time as possible in advance, that I am quitting.
The moment after I decided for myself that I am going to quit, I thought about what I am leaving behind, again. As in 2015, I quit and move away from where I have met amazing people and made true friendships. But different to the first time and why I am sharing this with you is, that for months I am torn between following what I believe is my passion and true nature and the consequences of that.
My love and thrive in getting to know new cultures and people’s life stories, helping others where injustice is taking place, find salvation within myself and work somewhere to protect nature and people. So far, it means for me to be away from home which is breaking my heart in two ways.
I remember that day and feeling I had as it was yesterday. Christmas Day, December 25th, 2015, I was walking out of the campground I stayed the night before on the Cape to Cape Trail in Australia. The night before, I was very lucky to have a young family as neighbors, so I was not alone in Christmas Eve. I have skyped with my parents, sister, and brother as was about going to bed in my tent and as they finished their lunch. It was the first time, that one of us wasn’t home over Christmas. I don’t recall why I decided to fly to Australia ready mid-November but I remember myself feeling wanting more distance to my parents. For example, as I lived in Hamburg and 800km away, I sometimes didn’t pick up my phone as my parents called and probably just wanted to talk and know how I am doing.
So, months later, walking on a sandy dirt road through the forest section of the trail, I burst into tears. All those emotions of why I have distanced myself and now realizing how much I love my family and have been egoistic taking some time for them came to the surface. The times I have been blocking calls, the times I didn’t reply messages, the feeling of not sitting with my family in the living room, assisting my dad selecting the Christmas tree, hanging the ornaments or having the discussion which colors we are having this time.
Those were not only tears of sadness but also tears of joy. The joy of being aware of my feelings, letting everything out and just realizing again how important my family is to me.
With attachment comes suffering, because we can’t be everywhere and sooner or later, everything is passing away. For me, it is an important lesson I have learned. The result is not being indifferent, which is mistaken with it most of the times. It is about being equanimous, to accept the realitiy of impermanence.
Now, being again far away from my family due to my travels is less intense and sad compared to two years ago but still, sometimes the feeling raises up of not being there for them when they need me. It happened as well, that I have been judged not wanting to help. I definitely hurt me in the beginning, but I understand their point of you and have only compassion for them. I know that for the moment, I need to be away, for my development, for my future life and I believe and know, they will understand it someday. One day, I will be ready and able to give back what they have given me, in my way: Life, Love, Good values.
As I was in New Zealand in 2016, I found an amazing job at a catering company. Most of the events were weddings and I got to see and experience how important that day is for the couple, their families and friends. It was also the first year I got invited to a friends wedding. Not only one but three in a monthly interval. Sadly, I made already my plans to hike the PCT and it would be too time-consuming and also not in my budget, to leave the trail for each of the weddings. I also couldn’t go to just one of them because I wouldn’t be fair to the other ones.
With every year, there were more and as I was at home in 2017 and 2018, I finally could attend to the ones I have been invited. Now, I am finding myself again between the need of taking time for myself and following my passion and the struggle of not being close to home. I am feeling extremely sorry for all the moments I have been missing and going to miss with my friends. May it be their birthday, a night out, getting to know their new partner or, what is most difficult for me, not being able to celebrate their love with them at their wedding. A day, where all their family and friends are coming together thanks to their love for each other. Where love is at the center of everything, where there is no place for hate or sadness. I know, it is a lot to ask for but my hope is, that in case of my absence that there will be no sadness about it, but only joy and happiness about past times. That love overweighs the disappointment, because no matter where we are in the world, we have our friends and families in our heart.