Wednesday, June 30, 2010

on moscow

I would like to write an epic goodbye note to commemorate the era of my life in Moscow coming to an end. Unfortunately, as my fellow writers can attest, sometimes words don't come out the way they should. Sometimes they fail to come at all. I will write what I can.

I am leaving Moscow a completely different person than when I drove into town three years ago. I know not everyone in my life is proud of those changes, but I am proud of most of them. It was said to me once that my life since arriving here has been a train wreck. Maybe sometimes it has been. I think that is life though; some years will more closely resemble train wrecks than others. Some will be beautiful and move you to become more beautiful with them.

Time will not cease upon my leaving, and most lives without me here will continue much the same. My life itself, through the lives of those I met here and my experiences, has been forever changed. To my friends and acquaintences that were part of this era, the good and the devastating, I love you. Thank you for being a part of my story.

I have changed my worldview, met those that opened my mind and soul, I altered my spiritual way of thinking, had friendships and relationships with great-hearted people, and most importantly, I learned. I learned so much. I learned that every day becomes exactly what I made of it. I learned that I have the power to be creative or destructive, to be a blessing or a curse, and this power must be wielded carefully. I learned that I make a difference.

It is both lovely and shocking when we come to realize how much we make a difference. This is the most important lesson I learned in Moscow. Every conversation, every interaction, every attitude brought into a room, every word whispered behind the back of someone else, it all counts. It all matters. I learned that who you are isn't who you think you are, who you pretend to be, it is what you do. I am different since I learned this this. You are what you do. It's very simple though sometimes hard to process. If you constantly badmouth others, that is who you are. If you are out at bars every night, that is who you are. On the other hand if you work hard, postively influence and encourage others, and are genuine, that is who you are. I am trying to be more like that person. Sometimes I will fail.

It's interesting that the Tuareg nomads of Africa have only one tense in their language... the present. I think it would be beautiful to think that way. To live less in yesterday and make today a good day. I am still teaching my brain to work that way, but it started here. Thank you to those who taught me to be present in my own life. Thank you for changing my story.

I have many to thank as I pack my bags and start a new chapter of my life, though if I tried to list them I would fail miserably. I am listening to a song by Hector LaVoe, called 'Todo Tiene Su Final.' Everything must come to an end. That is true, but I think LaVoe missed something. More accurate lyrics would read 'though everything comes to an end, it often means the beginning of something brilliantly beautiful and new.'

Blessings to you, my Moscow friends and family. I hope your lives are beautiful and filled with promise. I hope you spend your days in the present tense. I hope you find and spread inspiration. I hope you find that every decision and action you make counts. I hope you love and live deeply.

Most of all, I hope our stories will entwine again someday.

Selah... let it be.