We entered 2012 with hopes of high adventure in a land of what was yet unknown to us.
It took longer than we’d expected to actually arrive and begin our year in Deutschland. So we had lots of time to feed our romantic notions with expectations of what life would entail. Apartment-living, walking to the market every day for groceries, riding our bikes all over town rather than driving a car, learning German and becoming part of the life for a whole entire year. These were the things we dreamed of. The stuff we looked forward to.
Then we arrived, and it was harder than we thought. Because walking with groceries is sometimes hard. And the apartment’s really small. And riding our bikes in the cold makes it even colder. Not to mention the German language is just plain hard.
I was thinking about that the other day. About how this is what we wanted, with all the realness of life in a foreign land. I thought about how it’s exactly what we expected in many regards.
Only it’s life.
So it’s not quite as dreamy as we’d imagined or hoped.
And then I realized life is full of that kind of truth.
We once dreamed of having children. Kids running around all crazy and happy and throwing Cheerios under the table and chasing the dog and making him growl.
Then it happened.
And suddenly the mystique flew out the window with the black Lego spaceship and the laundry from all those crazy kids spilled over into our romantic-no-more bedroom and the dog peed under the table and the baby ate the Cheerios anyway.
Remember dreaming of home-ownership? Painting walls whatever color we wanted. Mowing lawns and planting gardens. Then we had to clean the paint brushes and, well, mow the lawn, and the garden grew weeds that have yet to be pulled. And it’s January.
Yeah, life has a way of filling up with reality.
So here’s the thing: we have a choice. We can find the reality behind the high hopes and let it crush the dream. Or we can realize we’re living right where we wanted and find the gift inside.
I’m choosing the latter.
Because, after all, this is exactly what I wanted. Only I didn’t picture it this real.
Is there some reality you’re dealing with right now that turned out different than you expected? Why not share it in the comments?