To Have and To Lose

To Have and To Lose

Milan, Italy 8:12 am

Europe was supposed to be a short trip: say hello to family, dinner with a friend, an interview at the consulate, then, back to Hawaii.

Like things often do in life (especially ours) circumstances changed quickly. It’s very likely we’ll end up staying in Europe for 6 months, which, of course, is nothing to complain about. It’s actually pretty fucking amazing…

…Unless you have your sights set on being somewhere else.

Our hearts, minds and energy was pulling us 10,000 miles away, to island living, warm tropical sun, Kailua pork and pina coladas.

It’s a first world problem, no doubt, but I couldn’t help that I was annoyed for the better part a day. I told myself the obvious platitudes:

This is an absurdly ridiculous thing to be upset about, almost embarrassing to a degree.
If this is the biggest problem you have, you’re life is good.
You just spent 2 weeks in Hawaii.
You’re lucky to be able to travel and live wherever you want.

Nothing helped.

Not even that I was walking through the most beautiful Duomo in the world, the Leonardo Divinci Museum, and the biggest choice I made was which flavor of gelato I wanted for dessert.

Being unforgivable though it may, it’s not surprising I was upset. It was a simple math problem really. Something I wanted was taken away from me. My expectation was ‘X’, and anything less was something that I had labeled as worse than my current situation.

I’m aware I could have prepared better for this: I set myself up for disaster with my expectations, and I paid the price.

I went on a run this morning (one can try their hardest, but it’s impossible not to feel good with endorphins), and carrying nothing but a few euros and a credit card, was overwhelmed with the feeling that I had access to literally everything I needed with just those few things. I felt relieved.

Frustration comes in all sizes, big and small. If I crave a hamburger all day, only to find out that my favorite place is sold out of meat, depending on my expectations, I may be just as pissed as I was about Hawaii.

Life’s a lot like poker: it’s never about the cards. Nor are our frustrations about the problems we have, but the story we tell ourselves.

The feeling I had today is likely familiar to you; it happens often. But it’s only when it’s for something unnecessary do we stop and think, maybe I shouldn’t feel that way, and just be thankful for what I do have.

Like getting an opportunity to explore some place different. Or the fact that it doesn’t matter where I am; everything I need is with me. Or simply that amazing, irreplaceable Italian pizza that I’m going to have for lunch.

Unless, of course, something happens, and I don’t.

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