Have you ever met someone who inspires you and makes you feel truly alive but you discovered them at too young of an age and in the wrong circumstances with too many obstacles guarding the twisted path towards a future together?
It’s not uncommon for people to claim that they’ve met the right person at the wrong time. But what if we stopped seeing this as a missed opportunity and instead, began to view this experience as an eye-opening revelation? For some of us, it may have given us hope, confidence, and a sense that there are people out there who fit our criteria – and even excel it. This may have been the necessary stimuli needed to awaken our drive to grow, wonder and live in the present moment.
For the past year of my life, perhaps more, I felt like I was living on auto-pilot. It seemed like I wasn’t the master of my day, but rather, a spectator, watching from behind the screen.
Wake up. University. Eat. Study. Sleep. Occasionally meet up with friends with whom I adored spending time with but, simultaneously, felt slightly withdrawn and not present with.
I loved Moscow, but I missed home. I loved living alone, but I missed living with family. I loved my Russian friends but I missed my Australian ones.
Sure, I was homesick, but I was also loving my new life and I was in a constant conflict between two worlds – both of which I loved for completely different reasons.
I fell in love with Moscow the same way that you might with an actor in a movie before seeing them being interviewed on a talk show where you realise you only liked the character they were portraying – not the raw edition.
Millions of people packed into one city, every road guided by mystical architecture, every corner home to another museum. Seasons decorated by delicate snow, crimson-coloured leaves, blooming trees or sunshine and laughter.
But falling in love with a city but not its people is the same as falling in love with a person’s looks but not their personality.
I had amazing friends, but I was displeased with Russian society as a whole. After being immersed in a country such as Australia my entire life, I was not immune to the everyday rudeness, unapproachability and tenseness that the average Russian upholds. Sure, this was something I got used to, but after spending my summer holidays at home where I was, again, exposed to the positive energy that is generally exuded from Australians, the vast contrast between the two countries was even more apparent and the dryness of Russians became harder to swallow.
At the time, I did not perceive this as a reason to move back home, but simply as a challenge I had to conquer. I had boxed myself into this world, everyday counting down the years until I finished my degree and could move back home, not realising that I could punch my way out of it at any given moment, if desired. I had, unintentionally, become addicted to being unhappy and sought no real solution to solve it. I needed to be pulled out of the fog, and this wasn’t something I could do independently.
And then I met someone who did just that – changing my thinking pattern and tearing me out of the vicious, habitual cycle in which I was desperately forcing myself to feel happy in.
Perhaps it was because he wasn’t Russian and was therefore a fragment of what seemed to me like a parallel universe. He was like a bundle of everything that could be offered to me at home, had I had stayed in Australia: mentality, personality, humour and English speaking. But he was only living in Russia temporarily, and like my many other international friends, in a couple of months time he would move back to his country and I would, again, continue my search for more temporary foreigners. And so, that was when I realised that I was constantly yearning for people that resemble my values, beliefs and thoughts, and this could not be satisfied by Russians because my morals, simply, didn’t align with theirs and I wasn’t willing to change them.
Had I not met him, I probably would have continued living the same way, which was becoming detrimental to my health.
It made me realise that some people are like a cheat code you use when you can’t reach the next level in a game – they appear at the exact moments we need them, to help us move on to the next stage in our lives.
Not every relationship leads to love and not everyone we encounter will walk next to us for the entire length of the road towards our destiny – some may only be there to help us cross the intersection.
I was sad because I was leaving the person who had made such an impact on me, but at the same time, I was happy, because I had finally come to the realisation that my life is in my hands. I sacrificed a temporary relationship for permanent happiness.
Not every love story that ends needs to be accompanied by heartbreak and sadness, because some are meant to be just that – stories. And these stories are important too, because they give us a new perspective which can be enough to completely change us, how we view the world and how we are living in it.
And if it’s meant to be, it’ll be – as the famous words of Bebe Rexha state. Good bye now may not always mean forever.
So before you think about who you’ve lost – remember how much you have gained and be grateful. When stuck in a toxic routine, your flame may sometimes weaken or go out, and sometimes you just need the right human being to come around with a match box.
To the person who made this impact on me, if you’re reading this – thank you for reigniting my flame.