Some things in life can’t be understood. We can spend all the time and energy in the world to try and dismantle, decipher and decode, but in vain. Some people will come and go & at times without any concrete valuable reasons. Some things will happen, they might be good or they might be bad; they might be completely out of our control and we’ll have to learn to just let them be…
I could sit here and write down a thousand and one reason as to why I took the decision to leave and live abroad for a while. But it’s more than just thoughts or a lifelong dream; I can’t put it into words because it all comes down to a feeling. I feel it in my bones, rushing through my veins, from my toes to my head and up & down my spine. I had been thinking about it for a while but I took the decision during a trip to Portugal, back in September 2017. I remember my mom looking at me and telling me: “Do it”. She felt it too. So when I returned home, I had confirmed my internship and told my boss and coworkers I was leaving…
This was it. My one-way ticket to Europe was purchased and I was officially leaving le 42 Saint-Jacques behind. The day I purchased my ticket I felt a rush of emotions. I was overwhelmed with joy. It was real. I now had a date. A last shift at work and a time I had to be at the airport. That night, I danced for a solid hour in my kitchen. I sang out loud – sorry neighbors- and had trouble falling asleep. I turned off my lights, my phone and tried to practice mindfulness meditation to get me out of my head and into a calming state. No dice. My head started spinning and I noticed the lump in my throat. I started bawling. Like a baby. For a while. The weird thing is, it wasn’t because I was scared nor was it because I was regretting my decision. I was overwhelmed at how much I had grown these past few years. Ten years ago, never could I have ever imagined this…I talked about it. Dreamed about it. Told myself multiple times: this year is the year. But it never was, the year. Something always got in the way: my head. Knocking me down every single time. It was that never ending tug-a-war battle between the mind and the heart. Maybe it was fear? Maybe it’s because I wasn’t ready? Maybe it just never felt like the right time. Right until now. 2018 felt like the start of a new phase in my life. I was ready to let the world change me…
I’ve been on cloud 9 ever since I’ve set foot in Bilbao. I have met incredible people and managed to create strong connections in such a short period of time. The ability to be vulnerable and open with complete strangers is a new concept for me. I’ve always been one to try and deal with the ”tough stuff” all by myself. But life will have it that, sometimes, we don’t know how to get ourselves out of a rut. We lose the compass and all sense of direction. I’ve come to learn that when that happens, it’s OK to ask for directions. It’s OK to ask for help. There are so many wonderful people out there that will gladly help you get back on the right trail. Some will even take the time to make sure you make it all the way home.
FEEL THE WORLD INSTEAD OF UNDERSTANDING IT
My whole life I’ve feared breaking down this wall I built around myself. Allowing myself to be vulnerable has always been a phobia of mine. My mom calls it the fortress. However, being here, slowly, very slowly, but surely, I’m taking down the stones one by one. I’m even letting new people into my life help me tear down the wall. I’m realizing there is something so beautiful in being vulnerable. To be transparent is not to be fragile. It’s the total opposite. It’s honesty in its purest form; it’s being able to show your true emotions. Not hiding. Honest with the world but most importantly with yourself. It’s not to say it isn’t hard. Oh gosh, have I cried a s#it ton. I’ve been hurt. I’ve been knocked down. Many times. But I have because I’m not hiding behind the fortress anymore. On the other hand, I’ve also been able to reach new levels of happiness and freedom which outweighs the negative by a hundred percent.
To be vulnerable is to communicate. It’s being able to tell someone that they make you happy and they make you smile. It’s being able to say: ‘‘you’ve hurt me…’’ or ‘‘I’m sorry’’. It’s also being able to tell someone you like them (OK…I’m still working on that one…but I’ll get there, eventually…) To be vulnerable is to not regret. It’s choosing to live the life you want. It’s choosing to listen to yourself and to act on it. If it feels right, if it feels necessary then do it. It’s scary at times, yes, but the thrill is worth it because it’ll make you feel alive. To be alive means you are living & isn’t that the whole point of life?