I got an email from Les today with pictures of her last birthday party. It was really nice seeing such familiar sights – old friends, old hangouts, old pastimes. Living here for the past 6 years has not spared me the occasional bouts of homesickness every once in a while. Seeing these pictures was one such time where I missed being back home.
One of my dad’s favorite sayings is “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”. And it’s true. I chose to come to the States to get a better education and to further my career. I chose to settle here with my hubby to provide a safer and better life for our future kids. I chose to live in the States because it is still the land of opportunity and a place where hard work is rewarded. I chose to make this place my home because life here is exciting and new and thrilling. And living here has given me so much – new friends, new opportunities, and learning new things about myself. Living here has made me a stronger, wiser and more independent person. Living here has made me more adventurous, more courageous, and more self-confident too.
But there are trade-offs. I’ve had to give up things dear and familiar. I’ve had to give up the security of my old job – where I was challenged but successful, given support and surrounded by friends, and actually had a life outside the office. I’ve had to give up being with friends I had grown up with, went to high school and college with, and shared my life with. I’ve had to give up living within the comforts of the home I had grown up in. Living without our helpers and a driver who made life much, much easier. I’ve had to give up being surrounded by my family and sharing their lives with them. I've had to give up being part of a community where my life was secure and comfortable. Special occasions like birthdays, weddings, baby showers, graduations and holidays are shared thru pictures, emails and over the phone.
I guess as with all things in life, as we move on, there are things we gain and things we give up. All we can do is carefully look at our options, weigh the pros and cons, say a prayer, and make a decision. There will always be a good side and a bad side to every choice we make. Life is full of these trade-offs. I guess it’s what makes life stimulating, challenging and worth living.