I am sure you are familiar with the saying, “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It’s greener where you water it”. If I have discovered anything in the last eight years of living in this beloved and quirky city, it is that. It can be so easy to compare our lives to the potential life we could have “over there”.
There is a difference between leaving a place or job etc, in order that you may run “towards” something, rather than to run “away” from it. Might be something worth asking ourselves when we are considering our decisions.
As I prepare to move cities for the next couple of years, I am so aware of how fast time is moving and how my emotions surrounding this change sneak up on me in very unexpected ways. There is this oscillation that takes place between pulling the one’s closest to me, closer; while wanting to self-protect and pull away in order to soften the blow of their absence. I find the practice of investing especially difficult when I know things are changing, when I know relationships will look differently than they do now. When I know the more I invest, the more I will love, and the more I run the risk of being wounded. And yet, somehow, it is worth it every single damn time.
It’s a choice. It is always a choice, investing in the people around us and in the places we live and work. It can be tempting to numb out and just move through our lives and relationships without connection, without letting each other in. More than ever have I felt this temptation. But, the more we risk the investment, the more we open to the love that is always there, and available in new forms and ready to be received, if I let it.
“Don’t be afraid to be confused. Try to remain permanently confused. Anything is possible. Stay open, forever, so open it hurts, and then open up some more, until the day you die, world without end, amen.”
– George Saunders
Life will always throw things at us, tempting us to close up and invest only in the “safe” ways. Don’t get me wrong, there are boundaries to be had and set, and we cannot and should not invest in everything and everyone. But, who and what we choose to invest in is what makes life rich and full of meaning.
So, let us do so without fear of rejection, without the fear of failing, or the fear of being let down. Because reality is, we will feel those things from time to time. But, continually saying yes to investing, reaps a wellspring of love and friendship that no fear can measure up to.
Stay open. Stay soft. Stay present.