Thursday, 3 February 2011

Doctor, I’ve got an awful case of Zugunruhe - 9th July 2010

I’ve recently written a new story called ‘Zugunruhe’ which you can read on the Short Stories for Women blog here. Now I know it’s not a literary masterpiece or likely to win any prizes, but it was sooo much fun to write. Hopefully it’s as much fun to read, do let me know!

So all this talk of Zugunruhe has got me thinking about our tendency to believe that the grass is always greener on the other side (if you don’t know what Zugunruhe is then read my story, or you could Google it but that would be much less fun!) Perhaps it’s because we have so many options. We spend our lives wondering if we’ve done the best thing: is this the best career for me? Is this the best man/woman I can get? There is always another option if we don’t like what we’ve got. As far as I can tell (not having been alive in the time frame I’m referring to) this is a relatively new phenomenon and is certainly not a global one. Our parents took the job that was available to them, they married the person they dated when they were a teenager, they lived in the place they were born and had their own family there. Now we are so transitory, families are scattered and the world is an open door to us. All of this is a wonderful freedom, for which we should be very grateful, but sometimes it seems like we just don’t know what to do with all these options. We think this new boy (or girl) will be better for us, this new job will revolutionize our life, that this new house will be the place where we are finally happy.

Speaking as someone who has recently moved 400 miles and has had two new jobs in eight months, I have had my fair share of chasing after different things (and trust me this is just the tip of the iceberg in the randomness that has been my twenties so far). I’ve never been afraid to take chances and many times this has paid off in a big way. But the really sad thing is that sometimes, when we’ve done all the chasing and amassed everything on our list, we’re still not satisfied because ultimately it’s not our circumstances that are the problem, it’s us. In a culture that is always driving us to have more, more, more sometimes we need to stop and realise that the grass isn’t greener on the other side, the grass is greener where you water it. And so I wish you all a satisfying weekend, where you enjoy being just where you are - because perhaps, perish the thought, this is exactly where you’re meant to be.

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