From my first run in the snow to packing my life up three times at least, from doing that nightrack in an abandoned factory on an island right next to the Russian border, ascending a 35 meter high tower in the dark and getting stuck mid-way, sunny hikes by the Atlantic, champagne sunrises, sitting on a rooftop watching the Eiffel tower light up, dragging my suitcases on rocky streets or up seven floors, realising once more that I am a full moon midnight swimmer more than a daytime beach gal’ – yes, 2018, you have been memorable.
A year ago, I decided to take a moment to start all over again. As cheesy as it sounds, it turned out to be a much needed idea. Taking time to be honest with myself, to realise that I needed to change directions, that I’d become, in a way, way too comfortable with setting goals. From knowing that I wanted to move abroad but postponing it to “the right time” among many things, you know, I guess everyone has a list of those things they’ll start just once “the timing is right”. Just to conclude: that time never comes, at some point, you just have to go out there. Just start.
All while doing random translation jobs and running job interviews, I spent days and nights browsing Master’s programmes. I knew I wanted to go back to school, that my education was far from being complete and that it was time to look abroad this time. I wrote all about that in my blogpost about moving to France, so I’m not going to repeat myself all over again. But before that, I saw months full of unexpected events fold in front of me…
International work experience in my own hometown
The people – the change of perspective! I got to work with so many different people from all over the world – honestly I had wondered for so long where all these international people were until I found myself in an office surrounded by them, hearing a different language at every corner. Stories, cultures, perspectives and so much to learn. Meeting amazing people and learning how they saw my country, which made it all the more interesting – like expriencing your hometown from scratch.
About friendships: as naturally as they grow, they sometimes also go
It’s a personal topic. I remember how, years back, I would always bend over backwards just to resolve a conflict. After growing some boundaries, I realised that it’s, unfortunately, not always worth it. As hard as it has been to come to that realisation, the gratitude that comes with the knowledge that your real friends will always have your back. This year has made me feel extra grateful for the following.
Your true friends will accept and respect you at your times of challenge and cheer for you in times of victory as you would do for them.
My tip: if you feel like you have to “act” a certain way around someone or tip on eggshells in any way, it’s (mostly) not worth it. I always believe in addressing the issue and while conflicts naturally occur, it’s always about whether you will both meet each other halfway or talk it out. Most conflicts occur from miscommunication anyway.
Jealousy as something that motivates
When you lose the unhealthy comparision, “jealousy” – I truly dislike the negative connotation behind that word – but it can motivate me. Just be the best version of yourself and work towards that.. I wrote one of my favourite Instagram users/ bloggers about how her post really inspired me and, how I admired her courage to also address negative issue without the sugarcoating. And her reply about how it feels so good to have strangers have the courage to make a compliment and admit “hey, you inspire me”. It felt like such a release and a rush.
How to save money
It’s easier when you have a bigger goal in mind! Sounds so obvious right? So short yet so helpful. You stop making those “little” coffee and cake purchases to focus on the more important things.
And Love… Love with all your heart
I don’t talk about personal realtionships here, not really, maybe not even at all? For years, I’d been closing myself off more and more, because it was easier that way, because that way I didn’t get hurt. But if you focus on growing healthy personal boundaries, loving and respecting yourself, that isn’t necessary. If you have healthy boundaries and respect for yourself, you won’t need an explication from people who treat you like **** because guess what – you will naturally let them go because you know you deserve so much better than this – without a question. So stop running after people asking them “why you did this to me?”. It’s okay to tell someone you felt hurt by how they treated you. If they care about you, they will meet you halfway and agree to work things out. And if not, you know what to do. Move on. Just like that.
If you work on yourself and your passions, you won’t have space for those people and no space for grudges either by the way. All the more reasons to trust your hustle and get a new hobby right? It’s not being open that hurts as much as the expectations do. It’s okay to have conflicts and to disagree, but it’s all about willing to and meeting each other half way.
I stopped looking for love, I focused on what I wanted, explored the world and all the while loved myself, my family, my cat, my friends and then… when I least expected it, I found love. And out of the blue, an experience like one I’d never experienced before.
If you listen to and respect yourself and have healthy boundaries, then there is nothing to be afraid of. The most important is to meet each other halfway. If not, that let go, learn and grow.
Learning, learning all the time
Whether a new job, numerous online courses or study marathons for uni, always stay in motion. Always keep learning.
Take the time to be completely honest with yourself, where you are in life, what do you actually want and take steps to move there. Even if these are small steps at first. Take them, start and always stay in motion. It is then that everything around you will fall into place. If you open up, listen to yourself and get the courage to actually start to move towards where you really want to be, while believing in yourself, the Universe, God, coincidence – whatever you believe in – will work with you. From a random comment from a friend advising you to connect with x for y reason.