A couple of days ago we celebrated 5 years of marriage! And man, it's been a fast 5 years. It's also been a heck of a ride.
When we first moved in together after our honeymoon, we lived in a shoebox of a flat with our two little cats, overlooking the ocean on the south coast of Wellington, NZ. We were more than happy there, but neither of us were super content in our jobs, and we both had this 'dream' to move into a bigger home. We had a very clear idea of what that home, and therefore our lives (so we thought) would look like! We now realise our priorities were misplaced.
We were like so many other people out there, willingly living on this circuit of life that was all about achieving and accumulating as much as possible all before a certain age! We felt this pressure to conform to 'life's' expectations, and ideally do it all before we were 30. We felt like we needed to have some kids, progress into a job (ideally with an amazing salary) and buy the bigger house with a couple of extra bedrooms. Not only did we need to achieve all of that, but accumulating 'things' was equally as important. New clothes as often as our budget allowed, a nicer car, that KMart catalogue lounge and a brand-new bathroom in our new house were all on the list. Maybe amongst all of that we could spare a few dollars from our savings on a holiday somewhere too.
Then one day we asked ourselves the question - “What do WE actually want our lives to look like?” Which lead to, “Why do we feel the need to achieve any of that other stuff?” And then we very quickly realised that how we lived our lives was actually totally up to us. Call us rebellious (or just millennials lol) but we didn't want that 'checklist' life anymore.
You can tell a lot about what people value by looking at where people spend their money huh? We could tell a lot about ourselves too. So we took a look at where we were putting our time and money and quickly started to make some adjustments. We began by shifting our priorities in our budget lines. Our HOME budget line became TRAVEL. Our CLOTHES budget line became ACTIVITIES. Because for us we decided that what we valued most in our lives (sans Christ) were two things: people and experiences, and we wanted our lives to reflect that fully.
Sure, there could be another GFC tomorrow and we might have spent a bunch of our 'security' on flights overseas or weekends away with friends, And sure we might feel a little embarrassed about our slightly worn furniture and cheap homeware when people come around to our house for a meal. But for us the sacrifice of not experiencing X because we were too caught up in trying to buy a new couch/car or not spending more time with Y because we spent all of our time pursuing a career, was just not worth it.
But isn't that the beauty of life? That we were all created so uniquely, with such different goals and desires. That within this giant mixing pot of life here on earth, there isn't a 'correct' way of doing things - because we were never designed to live cookie-cutter lives. Everyone does it differently, and that's ok! The trap however can be that we see our friends, family, mentors and bosses living one way and assume that's how our lives need to be lived out too. But for us (Sam and Anna) we believe in asking yourself the question, “What do I really want out of life?” And we believe it is one of the most important things you can ask yourself. We believe that God LIKES that question, because we believe He asks us that question too. Then whatever the answer is, stop doing all the other things - and chase that dream.
Life is too short not to.
In the midst of all of this we have decided to pack up and leave to Canada, to follow His voice, and go where we've never been before. And so to finish this BLOG we feel it's only fitting to quote the words of the great poet and philosopher, Drake: "You only live once, that's the moto..."
Sam & Anna