It’s something we all need from time to time, if not ALL the time. A lot of times it’s a hard, cold truth. A freaky “that could be me” story. An event that brings you new perspective, a change of heart.
A cold truth hit me yesterday that challenged the way I was viewing my life.
I was driving to a baby shower for a friend of mine when I had one of these moments. The shower that I was going to was for a friend of mine who is having her sixth child. This friend of mine came to the United States only a year ago from Jordan. She had been in Jordan for a little while after fleeing her home country, Syria.
As I was driving to her house I thought about how people kind of laughed at a baby shower for a woman who's gone through it five times already. Her situation is unique and it really got me thinking.
She doesn’t speak much English, and she is very young. Despite our many differences, we have become good friends - communicating with charade like motions, google translate, and the little we have learned of the other’s language.
She doesn't have much between her husband and five, soon to be six, kids. What I know of her life in Jordan and Syria can be boiled down to the fact that whenever she brings it up her eyes darken a little and she says,
“Syria, no good. Jordan, no good. America, very good”.
She has shown me her scars from bombs that have exploded near her and her family. She has shown me pictures of her sisters and parents, who she will very likely never see again.
Despite the sadness and chaos of her life, she always welcomes me in with a huge smile and wants to share coffee, tea, sweet cakes, and anything that she has in her pantry.
When I think about my friend’s life and lay it next to my own, I am hit with a harsh reality.
We live in very different worlds, just minutes apart.
I just started a new job at Edward Jones. I recently got married and freely chose the city that I wanted to start new in. My husband and I are equipped to do just about anything that we want.
My new job has not been very satisfying. I am not doing anything that I love or feel passionate about. Because of this, it can be easy to get discouraged and think about much “cooler” things I could be doing, places I could be traveling, new businesses I could start…
When the reality is that this life that I am living is a life that people risk everything for.
They leave their families behind, they leave their friends, their language, everything they know to come here. To experience freedom.
I started to feel sick just thinking about how caught up in my own world I can become. Getting so wrapped up in my little bubble, concerned about what’s going to make me the most happy and satisfied. When there are people, like my friend, WHO WILL NEVER HAVE THE LUXURY TO WORRY ABOUT BEING SATISFIED, OR FULFILLED.
Rather, they’re just trying to make it by, to transfer everything they thought they knew to a brand new country. With no family. Or friends. Or trust fund. Or option upon option of employment.
Most of us that have been here our whole lives will not understand this. And we’ll probably never have to.
If you are in a life stage right now that seems pointless, or it’s just not making you happy, look to the GOOD. See all the blessings around you, the luxuries we have.
Do not take what you have for granted, and I promise you, you will find a new perspective.