Everybody fears deep changes in their lives. I believe that fear is in each of us. However, some people allow it to take control, while others manage to face it and jump higher into challenging situations. I am not different. I am afraid. In fact, I consider myself to be fearful, or full of fear, depending on how you put it. I am even afraid (or lack the confidence) to change my style, my hair or to simply wear different colours. However, at the same time, I feel so much courageous because rather than staying put, when I decide to wear a red sweater, I combine it with a lipstick as intensive, and then…I go to work to a place where most people choose neutral and formal styles. The same happens in other spheres of my life, as you will see along this text.
As scared as I was, I decided to temporarily move to Poland at the age of 20. The moment I left my family at the airport was when I felt the most pain and fear, but it was also when I discovered how strong I had – and could – be. I had taken a decision and I didn’t want give up, so I said goodbye, stopped crying and didn’t look back. I just remember reading my book the whole time, as I could not open space for any extra thought. I was afraid of everything. Of being alone, of traveling by airplane, of meeting a different culture, of going to a new university, of speaking English and learning Polish. I was terrified. But the worst feeling: the idea I could not get away from socialising!
Side note: most people think I am a social person, that I go along with everyone and find topics for conversations in any context, but the funny fact for me is that they have no idea how sick I feel every time I have to face these situations.
Fear is not a weakness…it can make you stronger!
This experience was amazing, yet a little bit too challenging from what I was prepared to live. After 8 months I came back home focused on applying to a top international master degree in a field I had no background or knowledge. So many people questioned if this was a wise decision, or even possible to accomplish, given my lack of preparation and my issues with English. In fact, I could not answer with factual certainty, and I had no idea how to accomplish this. Nevertheless, I knew I was up to it. I asked for a token of trust. I knew that those investing on me could trust me, although I had no idea why.
In my first math class, I felt a breath-taking inner panic, and at that moment I understood what it meant to give everything. So I did. It was an experience full of highs and lows, but still today I am sure it was one of the best experiences of my life. No long after, and still sore from my experience in Poland, I was once more put into test with an opportunity to move to Belgium for work.
Once again, my fear did not paralyze me…
I left the interview with a masked smile on my face, but as soon as I left the door, I felt my tears jumping out of my eyes. My fear froze me. I just remember saying to myself: “I can’t, I can’t”, but I knew I had to. I was just not ready yet. I felt lost, the most lost I had ever felt because, from all the challenges, this one I didn’t want to take, but I had to say “yes” to it. It was up to me to decide, but I could only foresee one choice. I needed the job. Some weeks later I was, once again, in an airplane ready (or trying to be) for another adventure. For those who know me, they will know I was not alone this time, but this will be a topic for another day 😉
Today I live in Munich and the decision to leave Belgium, to leave my job and to concede on the professional stand I had worked so hard to achieve was as hard and scary as the other situations before. I knew, I was sure, that when moving to Germany, it would be permanent. The idea to move again scared me. However, today, as much as it might be scary to start over one more time, it is scarier to feel that I am not in a place where I can live to my full potential. At this moment, I am seeking serenity to take a conscious decision.
And today, I am sure that once more my fear will not paralyze me…I wish yours doesn’t too.
With my love,