For the biggest part of my life I put others first. I still do it, for the most part, but I’ve learned to respect myself and not do something for someone else, that might jeopardize myself.
Five years ago I studied a year in Vienna. I loved it. I loved the education system of the University, the fact that you didn’t have to pay 1000+€ to study a year and that, even though some classes where huge, the teachers were always open to give you advice and an encouraging word. I wanted to stay. I didn’t. I didn’t stay because I was scared, because I didn’t want to leave my parents and because…I wasn’t strong enough. Last year I told my Dad I’d wanted to stay here but didn’t because I was afraid and he has heart problems and I just didn’t want to leave him…of course, in his manly I-don’t-show-feelings-because-I’m-a-strong-independent-man-kinda-way, he said that was a stupid decision, to go back to Portugal because he’s there. And maybe it was. But it was the right decision at the time.
Last year I started playing with the idea of coming back. I researched the job world here and the health care system and everything I could. When I couldn’t find a proper job in Portugal, I decided I would come here and try my luck. I knew if I came, it would be to stay. This isn’t a decision I made easily. I left my friends and my family in Portugal. I haven’t seen my parents since February and I don’t know when I’ll see them again. That’s the hardest part, not knowing when. If I had a date, like my birthday, that I knew I’d be flying down, it would be easier. Some days I come home after a bad day (we all have them) and I just want a hug from my Mum and Dad. It’s hard, growing up. Moving abroad and having to make a life for yourself, it isn’t easy. I know I’m lucky, I know that. But sometimes I just want to throw everything away and go back home and live in my parents basement forever. Or attic, because we don’t have a basement.
I was never really brave, until a while ago. Take my last relationship (or any romantic relationship I had) for example. We were together for a year and a half. And somewhere along the way, both of us, knew it wasn’t going to work. We just weren’t good for each other and were just bringing each other, as people, down. (Sorry D, you know I love you, but you also know it’s true). We’re still very good friends and talk all the time (and I might or might not have called him two times when I was having a bad day) and we’re there for each other. We even talk about people we date. We’re just two people who are really good friends, but wouldn’t work out as a couple.
There was a point in our relationship where I knew we shouldn’t be together. And so did he. But somehow I managed to change his mind (yes, managed is the right word) about us breaking up, because I was scared of being alone. It wasn’t that I loved him (in a romantic way), it was purely that I didn’t want to be alone. But sometime after, also with his help, I managed to realize it was the wrong thing. He once told me “You’re ready to fly now” as as cocky and arrogant as that was of him to say, he was right. He did help me to earn self-respect.
Sometimes you just need to do something that you know will make you down or hurt or sad, because it’s the right thing to do. When in Portugal I was offered a job teaching German in the south of Portugal. It was 4h a week and I would have taken it, if I didn’t have to travel for six hours only to get there and then get a paycheck that wouldn’t even cover the travelling.
I would have taken the job, because hey it was a job after all (!!!), but I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do. And it doesn’t matter how hard it is, sometimes it’s not worth it. Sometimes you just have to say no or walk away. Or move countries, no matter how much you love your parents, to make your life work.
Like I always say, if something is meant to be, it will be.
I knew I was meant to live in Vienna and it happened, five years later, here I am! It was worth all the bad days I had…all the doubts..all the tears…all the high-blood-pressure-days before the trip..and even though I am far from my parents and my best friends..I know I am worth it.
Have a great Sunday