It was 10 years ago that I was laid off from my job in Brussels. The time was sad and uncertain–I was looking for work, and was fairly sure I had to leave a city I loved to do it. But the previous three years for me were a rebirth. It wasn’t that i was running away from anything, but I think I had to hit the reset button. A couple of relationships were meh or emotionally draining, and being in my late 20s, I was still trying to figure things out. And Brussels seemed like it would be an adventure. I remember the fridays and saturdays I spent wandering the city, walking down blocks I knew nothing about, until they became familiar pieces of a puzzle. I remember sitting in a cafe, marveling over the wonder of drinking coffee from a cup (a rarity in brussels a decade ago). The nights wandering back home after some jazz. What has changed in the ten years? I’ve been captured by thre hamster wheel of work. In Brussels, the formula would be to go, have an adventure, then oh-by-the-way, go to work. Here, it’s work, then try to squeeze something in–if I’m not too tired. But I’m slowly waking up. I’m running, entering 5Ks. There’s traveling on the agenda that does not include going home. I’ve re-realized that my happiness depends on me. The invisible weights that seem to find their way to my shoulders are disappearing. It’s becoming time to live again.