“The hardest thing in life to learn is which bridges to cross and which to burn.” David Russell
Unfortunately most of us don’t realize that we have crossed the wrong bridge until it is too late. At some point in our lives we all desire change. The hope for a better life is what makes us get up every morning and go to work, no matter how demanding, boring, and ungrateful our work is. We human beings are curious by nature. We are restless and like adventure. We like to explore, to learn, to try new things, and to experiment with our lives. That is one of the reasons why we are constantly moving. We move from one city, country, and continent to another, always in search of something. We hope that one day things will be different for us. And if they don’t, we get sad, we get impatient, and we are unhappy. We ask questions.
“Pozzo: Have you not done tormenting me with your accursed time! It’s abominable! “When! When! One day, is that not enough for you, one day he went dumb, one day I went blind, one day we’ll go deaf, one day we were born, one day we shall die, the same day, the same second, is that not enough for you?” Samuel Beckett
I have made this change twice in my life. The first time, as you are most aware of, was from Beirut in Lebanon to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The second time I crossed the Atlantic and changed continents when I moved to Montreal in Canada. Every time I made the move it took me a while to stand on my feet and feel normal again, even though Sidney Sheldon wrote:
“There is no such thing as normal. Each person carries his own normality within him, and no two people are alike.“
The first move was easier; it didn’t take us long to establish a routine like everybody else around us. Both my husband and I had our jobs, we had an apartment we called home, and we formed friendships with our colleagues and led a normal life. But after twenty two years it was time to change.
However, changing continents was a totally a different experience. I missed my friends, I missed my job, I missed what I had in Dubai. Most of all, I missed my normal everyday routine so much that I became unhappy; as goes the Persian proverb, “If fortune turns against you, even jelly breaks your teeth.”
Simply put, everyday events upset me so much so that at one point I wanted to go back, and cross that ocean again.
However, on the metro one day, on my way to the library, I looked around at all those faces and realized that no one cares whether I exist or not. I realized that I had become a prisoner of my past, of my personal history. I knew then that at some point I had stopped dreaming and I was living in accumulated memories, things in the past. I knew then that if I dared not to have new experiences and to seek new stories, change was never going to come.
“When you have come to the edge of all the light you have and step into the darkness of the unknown believe that one of the two will happen to you. Either you’ll find something solid to stand on or you’ll be taught how to fly!” Richard Bach
I started asking myself what it is that I really wanted; whether to continue to live the same way I had been living in Dubai, or to pursue new dreams.
“You don’t want a million answers as much as you want a few forever questions. The questions are diamonds you hold in the light. Study a lifetime and you see different colors from the same jewel. The same questions, asked again, bring you just the answers you need just the minute you need them.” Richard Bach
That is when I knew that it was important to let certain things go. I knew that I had to leave in the past those moments of my life that are over. I knew then that something has reached its end for me and that I had to stop being who I was then and become who I want to be now.
“When we put up with any situation we don’t have to put up with, it’s not because we’re dumb. We put up with it, because we want the lesson only that situation can teach, and we want it more than freedom itself.” Richard Bach
Only then did I realize that we are responsible for our own lives, for our own happiness, and that:
“Heaven is not a place, and it is not a time. Heaven is being perfect. Our purpose for living is to find that perfection and show it forth.” Richard Bach