To live in different countries? Split up the family? Pursue our diverse dreams? And trust each other along the way? Is it possible to set each other free, after having been together for 20 years? And still be lovers, married, family, belong together?
It took a lot of guts to tell my husband that it was not right for me to move to Switzerland with him. I have had my doubts. We went to Geneva with an open mind a couple of months ago to explore international schools, houses to live in and friends to hang with. And as the family person I also am, I tried to imagine what it would be like to live there for our two girls, for my husband, for me, for us ..
But a sneaking sense of claustrophobia grew stronger and stronger within me .. A sense of ‘this is not for me, it’s not my project, it’s just not where I am in my life right now’ … And a sense of being torn .. since Geneva is clearly right for half of the family with a teenager who is SO ready for the world, expanding her comfort zone, meeting new people and going to a school where something is finally being expected of her. And a man who dreams of getting out and challenging himself somewhere else than in the periphery of the town he has lived in all his life.
But right now, Geneva is just not right for me. I have finally found the thing I’m really passionate about creating, slowly growing the roots and methods to be able to share it with the world around me. Neither I nor my company are robust enough to leave Denmark – not yet. We need more time, time to develop and unfold it properly before moving anywhere. And my youngest daughter as well, she has just learned to take the bus to the neighbouring town by herself, hang at the local Pizza Place with her friends and go horsebackriding in the forest … her world also needs to become larger, step by step.
But how to decide? Caught by the excitement around me and of my own mind which always starts seeing opportunities, seeing the positive sides until I stand in the middle of something and just KNOW that this was wrong .. ‘What the hell have I NOW gotten myself into? I should have known it was not right for me ..’ When I do the wrong thing, I know by now that my frustration and my need to untangle myself from it, has consequences for those around me as well as for me.
I couldn’t do that to myself or my family, so I did what I’ve learned works – I left the hubbub to make one of those decisions that really matter ..
Out in the wild nature for a few days, in the most peaceful place I know, filled with love and good energy. A few days with plenty of space to reconnect with myself and what I’m here for. Space to feel the right steps, without pleasing and without being limited by standards or ideas. It is not always an easy thing to do, but it has proven worthwhile for me to give the important decisions time to sink in and the way forward room to show itself more clearly.
In the middle of the night out there, I knew that I was not ready to move to Switzerland – now is not the time for me. To the contrary I have to allow myself to develop what I’ve got going. The opportunity to develop this business- and lifedream of mine.
Like I said, it took a lot of courage, honesty and clarity for me to come home and tell my wonderful husband that I was not ready. Giving him the space to react and find his own way. And together finding the way we both feel is right for the whole family – that those who are ready go for the world and those who are not, stay home. I think we succeeded, we found this solution together – in loving resonance with each other and with our daughters, one relieved for getting to leave, the other for being able to stay at home. And our oldest daughter with the comment: ‘I think you’re cool for doing what’s right for you, Mom, ‘cause I know that if you left when you don’t really want to, you would constantly be nagging on Dad .. ‘
Now we’re approaching the time when the family splits up and settles across borders .. and with it a lot of emotions and questions .. ‘How is it going to be not to see my oldest daughter every day? How is it going to be not to wake up next to my husband every day? How will my teenagedaughter cope without me – her MOM – next to her? How is it going to be for my youngest daughter not to see her dad and sister every day? How is it going to be to be a post-modern family who see each other only on weekends, and not even all of them? Can I manage without them, and they can manage without me?’
It feels like a huge decision – and an even greater bet – to live in two countries. And it’s been really interesting to see people’s reactions, joy, excitement, fear, confusion .. ‘NOW what are you up to? Is your relationship going to last? Wow, how cool – I want that too .. Ohh it will be expensive .. You should wait until everyone is ready .. Don’t think you can just stay in touch with your teenager via skype and on weekends, that’s not enough as she goes through the most uncertain time of her life .. Hmm, maybe it was also an idea for us to give each other a little more space .. ‘. Very diverse reactions to a decision that’s basically about our lives, but still affects a lot of people around us.
I know I’m going to send off my family with lots of butterflies in my belly and teary eyes – and also with a certain degree of fear that it will all go up in smoke .. But I hope I can ALSO send them off with confidence and love for both those out there in the world and us here at home, with confidence that it will open up a new way of living, a bigger world .. and perhaps being the first step on the path for the whole family becoming world citizens?
Will it be possible?
Do you need to get some space around you to sense what you stand for, find your mojo?
Then join us on one of our great Nature Retreats in the fall … Look here