About 30 years ago, my husband and I moved to the country. The area was quite rural at the time (and still is), about 5 miles from a quaint little town. It was really just an acre lot with some tall oaks, and a low spot we called a pond, in a neighborhood of other acre lots with homes individually built by each homeowner, not by a builder. We wanted to have a little more room to raise our children and spread out. We wanted to be part of a small town, have our kids attend a small school, and get to know our neighbors. It was also very affordable. The lot was cheap and my husband built the house so we could make our dream come true on a budget.
But most of our friends thought we were moving to the other side of the moon. Come on, people! It was only about 25 miles from Woodfield Mall but they thought it was just too far to keep up a friendship, and we never saw them again. So we settled into our little place in the country, raised our kids and lived happily ever after. For the most part. We made new friends, put down roots, started a business, and enjoyed our little acre of paradise. And we still enjoy it. It's home.
Today I met someone who told me he lived "near the city", which I assumed meant Palatine, Arlington Heights, Des Plaines or somewhere I considered "near" the city. Turns out he meant Wheaton. He wondered how my husband and I met and why did we move all the way "out here". We explained that we had met in college and moved "out here" to have a little more room to grow. He could not get his head around it. I don't know where he thought he had gone on this Sunday morning, but as I explained to him, the world does not end on the west side of Route 47! He could only imagine that we lived on a farm(?), heaven forbid, (his thought, not mine) and couldn't understand the concept of having an acre of land. Who would mow such a large tract? I couldn't believe that 30 years later, someone still felt that if they had to drive more than 10 miles to get somewhere, it was not worth going.
I didn't ask the man what his dream for his life was, and he didn't offer it. Maybe it never occurred to him that everyone can have their own dream, their own story. I can only guess that he never gave it much thought and if he did, only the life he led had any real validity for him. The lives of others were a mystery, not capable of being understood, and therefore not worthy of any thought at all. Socrates said it best in his famous quote, "The unexamined life is not worth living". Maybe you won't understand someone else's choices, but hearing their story and acknowledging that it is good for them, is part of examining your own life choices. And if your choice isn't working for you, try something else. You can reinvent yourself as many times as you want! That's the beauty of it!
Have you made a choice that changed the course of your life? Are you considering such a change now? Let me know.