As everyone else, you have days when you just can’t be bothered. About anything. You go with the flow, do what you’ve got to do. And that’s it. Haven’t got the energy to do anything that is even a tiny little bit different. No extra effort please. And definitely no risks to take: absolutely no-no!
And then you bump into someone you haven’t seen for ages. And this shakes your world.
‘How are you?’, she asks. Not waiting for your answer, as what she needs to talk is herself. Which you are more than happy with, as, remember, today you just cannot be bothered!
She is not happy with her life. She needs a change. Needs to move on, but cannot quite get her head round it, where and how to do it. Then you decide to open your mouth and agree, ‘Well… as a matter of fact, I am pretty much fed up with life and need to move on myself’. …As this is exactly how you have been feeling for a while now. You know the story: everything goes round in circles, nothing excites you, where is the pleasure in life? You try to achieve something, and nothing ever happens. Blah, blah. Plateau. For weeks. Months. Years?
Then she opens her eyes widely in amazement: ‘You?? To move on?? There is no reason for you to think that, is it! You have your house and your family here, you are settled so nicely. Why move on?’ Obviously, not quite the idea you had in mind when you said it, but her response pretty much puts you where you belong: right here, girl, and stop dreaming about change! Hm… you still decide to defend your argument: sometimes maybe we should try and take a risk for a change, as you never know, you may get something out of it.
And this is where she shocks you. ‘Well, at least you and me are the last people who could possibly be accused of not taking risks, are we!’ Silence. I have definitely always perceived myself as a risk avoider. At any cost, really. Cowardly. And honestly. Why stress myself even more, if life is difficult enough as it is. The biggest risk I have taken in the past few years is… telling my boss that I need a couple of hours off work to attend a job interview. Oh, and getting pregnant. This is as far as my adventurism would go. So how come we come across as completely different people to our friends?
And, still, silently digesting what my friend said… I cannot help but agree with what she thinks. We both decided to move to another country. A wild, bold move, with no guarantees or promises. Started from rock bottom and worked our way up to where we are now. If this is not a risky venture, then what the hell is.
I finished the conversation abruptly, running late for work, sorry mate, catch up soon, ok! But the taste of this random meeting remained in my mouth for days, bitter and sour. Are we sometimes too hard on ourselves? Or is this the way evolution works, through self-criticism and evaluation? Do we need to look up to ourselves, or put ourselves down, so that we can actually achieve anything better in life… I have absolutely no idea. But it made me think. Maybe staying where you are (for a while, at least) is not such a shameful thing to do. Maybe that Russian writer was right, and Oblomov’s philosophy is not necessarily a bad thing. Why fuss about everything, if I can be happy where I am. This way at least I may have the time and chance to think it all through. And decide what is the next thing in my life that is worth taking the risk!