I only noticed how poorly I was breathing until I landed yesterday night in Lisbon. How did things become so heavy? At what point did I stop being positive and turned into a grumpy, annoying, all-the-time stressed, little gnome? When, exactly, did I stop being ‘me’ to become a human black hole?
In my early months as an expat in England I was told I was like the sun. My dark skin would contrast with my smile and warm energy. Adding to that, there was a certain feeling of bravery: a 26-year old girl moving to a foreign country by herself, with only one cabin bag and 1000€ in her hands. Left behind was a not so functional family, a broken relationship, and countless unpaid job opportunities. Things were definitely not great, but I had my smile on and a naive hope that life would start to be good to me at last.
Three years later there is almost no sign of that smile nor of that warm energy, except when I’m with my clients. It’s like I’m not even half of who I used to be, despite the good amount of life’s lessons I got. I grew old. My hair got even greyer. My bones got weaker. My eyes don’t sparkle so much and my heart went from broken to frozen and then to mildly absent at some point. Yesterday night, however, I felt my heart speeding up again. I felt the air going right to my lungs. It was like I could finally breathe again, after a long while. It was as if a war had just ended and I had made out of it alive.
I allowed myself to die slowly in the queen’s land. I succumbed to the heaviness of the country itself, even though I tried to tell myself I was probably just crazy. England took a toll on me and I can’t tell if I was ever happy over there. It’s hard to be happy when your energy doesn’t fit. It’s hard to be happy when you loose joy in the workplace. It’s hard to be happy when you don’t have bonds. It’s hard to be happy when you are isolated from everything that resembles life in its purest form. These experiences led me, however, to the creation of this blog, a safe haven, where I write and try to remember myself and others of how a human being’s wellbeing is the greatest treasure of all. If everything else was a failure, I am sure this blog protected me from losing my last few bits of sanity and it certainly reconnected me with my purpose.
And in order to get my full wellbeing back, I knew I had to come home. Not to stay forever but to come back at least to life. I’m glad I followed the guiding voice which comes from I don’t know exactly where, but that kept telling me I had to come back so I could walk again with my two feet on the ground and my head on the clouds.
Be it my own imagination or not, the truth is that as soon as I stepped outside of the airport, I felt each inch of my skin gradually coming back to life. At some point, my heart was erupting with so much ecstasy that I opened up the car’s window and screamed out loud: I’M HERE, I’M HOME! And home didn’t exactly mean LISBON, it rather meant ME. It meant I finally had made a decision that was aligned with my human needs and I was now executing it. From that point on, the heaviness and dreadness were over and a clearer chapter just started.