Perspective – Wisdom of the Greek Islands

Most of the gang enjoying the waters off Glossa on a private boat hire.

“We’re the same age but you have an architect!”

Perched on a white stone balcony high on a hilltop above the idyllic whitewalled Skiathostown in the Sporades island chain of Greece, the girlfriend of the friend who owns said white balcony sardonically said that line about our ages and my architect.

This woman has a law degree and a badass job on Capitol Hill. She is called upon in committee meetings. She is in text chains with lawmakers. She is beautiful, accomplished, ambitious, gloriously well-traveled, a discerning shopper with an impeccable eye, and she maintains the free-spiritedness that makes someone like me feel, well, boring. She keeps her own stylish apartment because she and her boyfriend are both “just people who need their space.” She has roommates who have become a family of sorts, with glamorous-to-eccentric jobs and backgrounds, who make her world seem unique and creative and like something special is always just about to happen.

But I have an architect.

I also have a husband and a dog and nearly $1.5 million dollars in debt. So I’m more grownup, I guess.

Along with seven friends, she and I had seven glorious days to drink Mythos beers and relax, try new beaches and compare the € 2.50 gyro to the € 2.75 gyro with the rigor of a nuclear physicist splitting the first atom. This was also ample time to think – and not say – why I feel inferior to this woman, despite having an architect.

I wish I’d told her that while we have big plans, I also have crushing anxiety about them. While our architect has created a beautiful home on paper, I’ve been so afraid of this project that I can’t even describe the front façade to you. I wish I’d told her that yes, we are so in love and getting married is the best thing I’ve ever done – but it’s also the most bizarre, sometimes awful feeling — hitching your dreams to someone else’s and doing your damndest to adopt their dreams as yours. This project we’re embarking on is one of those dreams that I feel no ownership over, yet it’s going to turn my entire world upside down for 12 months to 30 years. No pressure! Cappie (the dog) is my most reliable source of joy each day (sorry, Matt, the husband), but she’s also a 37-pound furry albatross when you’re trying to become a nomadic millennial who tears down their perfectly good townhouse like it’s no big thing.

I wish I’d told her that she’s got it great. That I’ve got it great. That we’re both here, sitting on Agia Eleni beach, drinking ice cold Mythos, staring at the bluest blue waters imaginable, with beautiful, terrifying futures. But the present? It’s great. It’s just a matter of perspective.

Everything is better standing in saltwater with a Mythos in hand.

This was all, of course, much easier to recognize while we were sitting on a Greek beach watching modern day sirens deliver us more Mythos.

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Alicia Amling View All →

Recovering journalist who discovered a life outside of news leaves you time for things like getting angry, cooking and traveling. Plus, hopefully, writing. I’m a wife, dog mom and Washingtonian.

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