How do you make the right decision? And, more importantly, is there even a right decision to be made at all? Those two questions have been my constant companion over the past months and they most certainly don’t get any easier the longer you think about them. Maybe it takes a lifetime of headaches to figure them out and maybe even a lifetime of headaches is not enough.
When I moved to Nijmegen almost three years ago, I was aware of the fact that I wouldn’t be able to be there for my family all the time. That happens if you choose to live abroad — or even if you just choose to build a life of your own. Going for my own passions and building my own life were priorities I set and leaving my home is a decision I consequently made. If I would have to make the decision again, I would probably make the same. But all of this doesn’t keep me from wondering, from time to time at least, if it really was the right one.
At the beginning of the year, a close family member of mine committed suicide and the past four months have been mainly dedicated to figuring things out. How to go on from here, how to console the people who got hurt the most and how to heal oneself. I don’t know if I dealt with everything the right way. If I should have been there more often — or if I should have focussed more on my studies, trying to re-establish daily routine. Maybe I will regret how I dealt with situations of the past months some day. Maybe I won’t. Certain is only that we have to live with the decisions we make.
I prioritised spending time with my family over spending time with my boyfriend and my mental and physical health over my studies and work. Have I been there too little for the people around me by mainly being there for myself? Or was I not there for myself enough? Will my career one day take a toll because of the decisions made? Was it right? Should it have been different? Only time will show if I made the right decisions — and awaiting time’s judgement is scary. But it is a judgement we all have to await, for decisions we all have to make. We are, however damning decisions seem, not alone with their uncertainties. They are a burden we share and make up for a kind of company in difficulty that is, in my opinion, one of the brighter aspects of the human condition.
Every two weeks, Antonia will add the songs she writes about to the Spotify playlist below. This way, she creates a soundtrack to her time in Nijmegen. Click left and right for more songs.