I decided to change my life five years ago and moved to a country I have never been before. To me it was super clear that I would stay for two years -till the end of my initial contract at work- and go back home like I never left. Yeah it was never about leaving, more about temporary exit to gain a different perspective professionally as well as having an experience like no other . Exciting but nerve wrecking at the same time but I said “there is nothing to lose but a lot to learn.”
Now to that day, when I look back, it’s crazy to see how much I have learned & changed. Was it easy? NEVER! Did that hurt? Sometimes, very much! Worth it? ABSOLUTELY!
It is such an interesting journey, when you look at all the things that I left behind, only the ones that are meant to stick with me stayed and rest disappeared. Slowly faded in my life. Like the old polaroids as time goes by you lose the color, faces of people got blurry and hard to recognize. Just like that, the relationship that I left behind – which then I realized that I was never a part of that picture – ended silently, with no tears, no drama. The cloud that came with it, slowly cleared out and let me see my own reflection under the sun. What stayed is absolutely my family, stronger than ever. My few best friends who are still my best, maybe less time spend together but our bond never changed, we pick it up where we left off when we see each other.
On the other side, I have met amazing people that showed me so many different things about myself. Shaped me and made me who I am today. YES to new friends – who wrote the story of my life together with me – where we connected in so many different levels even though we had no common background or cultural. Those connections made me think that in another life of ours, we should have shared something together. Yeah me and my six hundred and fifty four past lives:)
The only tricky part is though the longer you are away from home and build a new one for yourself, the stranger you get to your own home. Some parts even makes you more feel lonely time to time. Main reason to that is while you are changing your life and starting from scratch and building your new life around you, back home all the “already established lives” continue building blocks on top of another – getting married, having families, one kid, two kid, divorced… If you look back and start comparing your life with others like yours at home, all of a sudden that cold storm hits you. Making you start questioning about your life. You find yourself asking tons of questions.. Am I late to the party? How would my life look like if I stayed at home instead? Would I be happier? Would I be married with kids by now? Would that make me happy? ….. Trust me those are never ending questions.
The norms of our culture and what we have been told, sometimes makes you doubt the route you take. It makes you feel like you are really far behind in the race versus making you realize that your life is not a race. Your path is not comparable to others. Then my question is : Are we really suppose to take all those steps? Can we not feel whole without checking all those boxes? Is that the only way to be happy?
Or we can actually be happy as who we chose to be, not who we told to be. By owning our journey. Being happy just by living the life WE create, on a daily basis, not a scripted one. As we grow, re-shaping and re-defining who we are and who we want to be.
You may or may not have an answer.. You might still be figuring it out. As there is no right and wrong answer to that. Just one question that may help us to find the answer.
ARE YOU REALLY HAPPY?