Tag Archives: self awareness

Choices

 

Everyday we get up, get ready, and leave for work. When we reach the end of the street, I go to the left and she goes to the right. She goes up the escalator and gets on the beauty of engineering that is called Skytrain, and smoothly rides into the city overlooking the infamous Bangkok traffic. I catch a bus with wooden floors, get a window seat for a much needed breeze, and patiently observe motorbikes cutting through hundreds of cars in the horizon.
She teaches well-behaved classes of 25 at an all-girls Catholic school, and I teach cramped classrooms of 50 rowdy kids at a school with no air-con. And you know what? Even though our circumstances couldn’t be more different, we both enjoy our time here – because we choose to.
We make choices. Sometimes these choices are conscious, well-planned, and when something happens we know it’s because of our decision and nobody else’s. On the other hand, sometimes things just happen, usually when you least expect them, leaving us either pleasantly surprised or somewhat disappointed. However spontaneous our choices may seem, we probably decided on something a long time ago, and over time those experiences slowly make their way into our reality.
Auste and I have been very busy and sleep deprived for months, and now for the past few days we’ve had an absolute lounging experience – we barely left our apartment, ate lots of food, and stared at the computer screen all day. We’ve been relaxing and ‘wasting’ time to such extent that deep inside it felt as if we were committing a crime! But those two or three days have given enough time to think, recharge and get back into planning. I think if you stop doing all the things you want to experience and do nothing for more than 3 days, you would naturally get attacked by all the things you don’t want to experience.
This unproductive lazy experience was nothing but our choice. It wasn’t planned, nor was it very conscious – it just happened. It didn’t bring much excitement or help us tick things off our “to-do” list, yet it left us pleasantly surprised when we sat down and planned a trip we’ve been longing to do. Travel – that was the choice we made before we left our home six months ago. Since then we have settled and got back into the domestic mentality. We decided on it a long time ago, discovered it, abandoned it, forgot about it, and without much thought our choice made it back into our reality.

I can only contemplate why we stopped travelling, searching and exploring in the first place. Perhaps our life would have turned into a short holiday rather than a more in-depth cultural adventure. We stopped because we need a home, even when we’re on the road. I believe we all need a place where we could recharge mentally, emotionally and spiritually. People go to ends of the world to find their hope in sacred places – temples, churches, mosques. Why not make your home a sacred place? A home is where you can wake up with good intentions every morning, have an exceptional day every day, and go to sleep with thankful thoughts every night. It is your choice.
We need to expose ourselves to external influences and experiences, so they could interrupt our own thought patterns, as much as we need to expose ourselves to different cultures and languages to appreciate our own – all in search for a better, more peaceful self. The world is made up of individuals. They make up communities, cities, countries, and the world. If I cannot find peace within, yet wish for world peace, I am taking one step forward and two steps back. Make a choice, and the rest will fall into place.

Thailand Tourism festival, Bangkok

 

Where is home?..

Some people go on holidays, some go for round-trips around the world, and some buy one-way tickets to distant places. The latter has happened to us… twice.

We both left our homes in Lithuania, hoping to come back soon after the graduation. Yet five years down the line we were still in the UK. We realised that this was our home now – a chic fifth-floor apartment with a huge window and a riverside view. Well-paid office jobs, enough time to travel somewhere close enough and keep ourselves entertained – we couldn’t have asked for more. However, deep inside, it just didn’t feel like home.

A couple more years passed, and the thought of filling the “utmost exciting” job positions back home was out the window. This time, we had one-way tickets to Thailand.

Koh Phangan

A total of 9 boxes packed with carefully thought-through items were shipped to the “original home” in Lithuania – the point of departure where we left seven years ago. The flat was getting empty. We exchanged goodbyes with our colleagues and friends, yet we still couldn’t believe we were leaving.

It was only when we had a few hours left before our train to the airport, that it suddenly hit us – the sense of leaving home. Looking at our suitcases and spending our final moments in the flat, hundreds of little memories started coming back: testing our patience when the gate won’t accept the code twenty times in a row, trying to put the blinds up slowly as to not catch the Christmas lights sellotaped to the window; sticking out my head through the window in the morning to see how windy it is; picking up and eating rocket-salad leaves after having dropped them on the carpet during dinner (daily occurrence); trying to manage the fridge contents after a party while keeping record-low food waste levels…

And after all those years we had to put our home key in an envelope, slip it under the door, and walk away. We were walking towards the train station knowing we will not be coming home the same way tomorrow, knowing we wouldn’t really have a home for some time.

But as soon as the train started moving, that feeling of being on a journey, that feeling of an adventure came up, and suddenly we both felt happy again. We were beginning our next adventure…

Home is holding your hand
Home is holding your hand