I've been back with my family in Germany for about 10 weeks now since I returned from my 4 months backpacking trip through Latin America. Most of the time it's been a real challenge for me and I realised again, on multiple occacions, why I had left home over a decade ago in the first place.
For the last decade I kept roaming around Europe. Every couple of months I moved to a new house or flat, every 2 years to another country.
Initially, I ran away from people like my grandpa and the "typical German" attitude he represented to me. Later I kept running away from other things and people. Always off to the next city, the next country.
And you know what... It was and still is an absolutely amazing time. The moving even more so than the actual time spent at all those places.
I have lived in 5 differerent countries, I speak 4 languages and I have a bunch of close friends all over the world.
Being back here all those weeks has made me realise yet again, that my buttons are being pushed and that the time has come for me to move on to the next destination. As much as I appreciate the beautiful nature around here and the company of my dear old friends and most of my family members, I'm always happy when the time comes to embark on a new adventure.
For many years I thought that there was something wrong with either myself or my whole family for not having a "milk and honey relationship" but the only thing that has actually been wrong was my own perception about it.
My judgement had been clouded by the pop version of the "happy family", where everyone is kind and considerate to one another. But what would a world without challenges be like... Boring as fuck, wouldn't it? Because we wouldn't have any opportunity to grow in life.
Some people, even within our own families, we're not meant to have said milk and honey relationship with. Some people are in our lives to constantly push our buttons. Some people are meant to push us away and out of our comfort zone.
If I hadn't had to face all those challenges within my own family and my surroundings I would have probably never left Germany in the first place. I would have likely stood in the same dead end job I worked in for the first 9 years of my professional life and that I hated so much.
If I wouldn't have taken that first step and moved to Scotland in 2008, I would have never met that Belgian guy who, years later, introduced me to most of my beautiful friends in Mexico.
If I wouldn't have ended up in Ireland for all these years, I would have never went to Peru, never seen the jungle and never backpacked Latin America for 4 months. I would have never gotten married to that amazing girl who, even after our recent separation, still remains one of my best friends.
All those 2.5 months back in Germany I was doing my head in, because I had experienced this profound transformation, but people around me didn't seem to change much, until I realised that they're not even supposed to. Changing my own views about them is all I can do and in accepting them as they are, I'm giving them my unconditional love!
Instead of ruminating what I haven't been able to get from my family, I am now grateful for all the challenges they have given me, because without them I wouldn't be who I am today!
So next time you want to judge somebody, or even yourself, you may want to think twice and go a bit deeper.
I have been judging myself for years on end for not being who society wanted me to be, for not buying into other people's version of "normal". Especially when I got married to a woman who, at the time, had already moved around 15 times in her life and desperately wanted to settle somewhere, I was convinced that there must be something wrong with me, for not being able to give her what she (probably) desired the most.
I never even considered that trying to do this might be completely against my own nature, because individualism isn't really being encouraged in a society that likes to breed obedient corporate slaves who don't ask questions.
For almost a decade I judged myself for doing the things I enjoyed doing the the most and I jugded myself for not being able to do things that are completely against my own truth. Such as living at the same place my whole life, living the commonly accepted family life and in a monogamous relationship.
One day I might want a hot chic who shags me senseless, the next day I want someone to just have a profound conversation or perform a shamanic ritual in the middle of the forest with. (If someone turns up one day who can do all that, I'm all up for it, by the way...)
One week I might want to run bare feet through the jungle and the next week I want to enjoy the nightlife in Barcelona or New York or even watch a football match back in Glasgow.
We are always told that we have to decide between one or another. But why does it always have to be either or? I believe we can have both, if we love ourselves unconditionally and stay away from those who only hand out conditional love (yet)!
Life is a game and a very beautiful one at that. Or like a wise man once said:
It's all about the game, and how you play it...