Life these days feels like a mad attempt to keep myself afloat. Just above water, but still not swimming the way I want.
But today, today I needed to find the ball, pick it up and play the game. Today was kind of a big day, if only for me.
Today was the day I was supposed to come home. Up until this point, I was supposed to be in France: teaching, living, being. But I haven’t been. I haven’t been in France. The plans changed.
I ran today.
Actually, it was sprinting. I did sprints this morning to practice for the Ultimate Frisbee league that I am in. At 6 this morning, I was at the gym, doing sprints on the treadmill for my league.
I was up at 6AM and not 9 or 10 AM because I had to go to work today.
And for those reasons, today was a quiet celebration. Why? Because in France, a day like today couldn’t exist for me. That was goal. In France, where I was, when I was and with whom I was, I couldn’t possibly have done what I did today. So today was worth noting.
Leaving France was hard.
Deciding to leave France was hard. I’ve never quit anything before it was over: never left, even when it didn’t feel right to stay. So deciding to leave France, rather than continue on the slow path of physical, emotional and spiritual deterioration, was a hard decision. But in the end, leaving France and coming home wasn’t hard.
Sometimes I forget that I was even there. Rather, most days, it feels like it was only just a dream. A distant memory punctuating the reality of my life here.
But here’s the thing.
Just as I don’t regret having come home when I did and why I did, I don’t regret having gone to France either.
You see, France was a bridge. France was a moment in time; an opportunity to move on, to let go and to get distance from where I was, in order to embrace where I am now.
Sometimes in life, we all need to find our own France. Sometimes we need to take a moment to breathe and to change our scenery. Sometimes we need to challenge ourselves, lose ourselves, take the leap into the unknown –throw it all out the window and chase whatever it is we think we need. Because sometimes what we think we want, what we think we need, what we think is missing isn’t what we thought at all. But if we never go to France – never
test the water – we’ll never be able to let go of the dream of what it could have, would have, should have been. We’ll never be able to move on and see how, after all the heartache and break, that we are, after all, stronger in the broken places.
So today I sprinted and went to the gym, worked and made plans with friends. Today, leaving France became ok. Because I left when it was time - not when the timer was up; because in doing so I made a goal for myself that in this interim I would make the life I wanted to make. The life that wasn’t possible there. And while I still have
miles to go before I sleep, today was a good day, because I made it exactly what I wanted it to be.