When I met my man, it was July 26th 2011. That was so long ago. But time is relevant isn’t it?
I was vacationing and visiting family in the warm Mediterranean island of Malta. He had only just moved there for work. 2 weeks after David and I met, I forfeited a fab job opportunity, and decided to go all in on my dreams of exploring the European culture.
Mom and dad always said “finish school and then you can go travel”. So I did. I majored in European history, then completed a dual special and general ed teaching credential program with a Masters attached. So, I finished school and was ready to travel. “Get some work experience” they said. So I did. I worked as an Applied Behavioral Analysis ‘Therapist’ and went on to teach in a high school for a special education maternity cover. When that year was over, I had arranged job opportunities in both San Diego and Malta. My European adventure was still lingering in my soul.
Some say, when you know, you know. And I did. Four weeks after meeting him, My life’s journey instantly changed, and I was on a plane back to San Diego, only to be flying back a week later, 1 luggage in,… no return ticket. But had someone told me how hard the road ahead would be, I don’t think I could say I’d have said ‘goodbye’ to the people who filled my heart.
They say “It takes a village”.
A phrase I, and many of us, have heard with fluid ears. A phrase commonly associated with raising children. But thats where it stops short.
After seven months of living in Malta, our situation changed drastically, and we needed to move to Denmark. For those who are not familiar with Denmark, it is a very green, and in Winter -white and bare country, with lots of rain. I can recall my mother in law excitedly telling me of her latest bicycle rain gear find- in the month of June. A smile and nod masked the confusion of, what the hell is she talking about? Incase you have heard of the gorgeous Danish Summer- it is gorgeous, and lasts 3 weeks if you’re lucky – a joke that never gets old and is totally true. Danes are awesome bike riders. Lets just say I had never seen traffic lanes and lights for bikes before! When crossing the street, one needs to be more careful to avoid getting hit by a bike, than a car! Public transport is Amazing! As someone with no children, then 1 child, then 2 children, a car was a must for us. But we didn’t always have one. Busses, trains, and the metro are punctual to say the least. Hygge is a cultural characteristic that everyone in the world should adopt -which I will touch more on in a future post, and did you know Danes speak Danish? In Malta, English is spoken on the regular. In Denmark, most Danes are not speaking English on a daily basis. On a more random note, Denmark has the most gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, as well as Giant slugs and snails- they’re fricken huge!
Help. A loaded word.
Denmark can be good to many, but to us it was not. In too many ways. The old adage of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger couldn’t have been more true for our new and growing little family. Without going into detail, turmoil was a consistent theme of our 5 years of living there. From literally Day 0, ‘Help’, was the only way we were able to make it.
Help. Not just the, let me give you a lift -kind of help, but more like the, let me lend you my apartment kind of help, and, let me give you 1000 kroner, let me spend my Friday night with you kind of help. It’s This kind of help that strips a person of their pride, and blesses you the virtue of humility. Its the kind of situations that break people’s shell and forces them into soul-discovery. But in all actuality, it’s totally not about one’s Self. It’s actually largely about everyone else.
To accept such raw help, no… To be offered such raw help, makes everything so – real.
There is a beauty in accepting help. Friendships – Relationships made based on heart Love. Kindness. Generosity. Acceptance. Compassion. Nurture. Selflessness. Sacrifice. Loyalty. All characteristics acquired by the offerer and gifted to the one who accepts. When accepting such, you acquire such. And when you acquire such, you are able to gift it yourself.
To give and to accept, is what brings us together in our truest nature. We do it everyday. Why do you smile to someone you do not know? Why do you hold the door open for a complete stranger or pick up their belonging that they dropped? Why do we donate hard earned money to those in need, whom we have not, and will never meet?
In order to receive, one must give freely and in order to give freely, one must receive; for you cannot give what you do not have.
Help. A loaded word. A beauty one would never know, unless.
Have you heard the phrase, “We are One” or “One Consciousness”?
We are the village.