Exactly one month from today, I will board a flight to Madrid to start a new life. I can’t believe I just wrote that. Over the past few weeks I’ve heard multiple versions of the same question “OMG aren’t you so excited??” Sure, I’m excited, but the truth is, excitement isn’t the only emotion that I’m feeling. In fact, it isn’t even the main one. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that this is the experience of a lifetime and I’m not having ANY doubts, but I’m feeling some things I haven’t felt in a long time. Get ready for a rant. I feel like this one is about to be epic.
I am scared sh*tless of pretty much everything at this point. This is the biggest change I’ve ever made in my life and the perfectionism monster that lives inside of me is going absolutely nuts because I feel like there is no room for error. I’ve never lived more than a four hour drive from my family, much less an ocean away, and of course there’s the minor detail of moving to a country where I’m not fluent in the language. YIKES. This move will be the first time where I am truly alone, without the support system that I’ve grown accustom to. I’ve never been the type to get homesick (sleep away camp, anyone?), but for some reason, all I can think about is how much I’m going to miss my family and friends! I mean really, Shayla? Where are they going? NOWHERE. I have to stop telling myself the story that I will be all alone in Madrid because it’s not true! I’ve already made friends that will be in my program, and I have a list of at least 15 people long who plan to come visit me. Not to mention things like Skype, What’s App, Viber, Email, Facebook and a million other social networks that will probably keep me more connected than I’ll want to be.
There is more change associated with this move than any other period in my life and shockingly enough, I don’t handle change well. That said, the two facts I know about change are that one, it is inevitable in life so I might as well get used to it. And two, change is REQUIRED for growth. As much as I like to fantasize about how nice it would be to be 17 again, having a 17-year-old mind in a 20-something body isn’t cute…at all. Going through change has always been hard for me, but it has always been wonderful and oh-so necessary. Although I carry a lot of fear about moving to Madrid, especially moving alone, I have to remind myself that everything I’ve done alone has been so worth it. I pride myself on solo travel, so what the hell do I look like laying on the floor staring on the ceiling and dramatically crying (yes, this happened)? Ugh, I swear I’ll get over myself one of these days.
Let me just take a moment to address a few misconceptions about this move. I am not going through a major life crisis. I am not moving to Madrid to “find myself”. I’m a firm believe that soul searching can be done at home and doesn’t need to take place in some other part of the world. I will eat, I will pray, I will love, but this is not a movie (see what I did there?). In fact, this is not a vacation. This is my LIFE! This means that in addition to going on long weekends in Paris, I will have days where I will not want to leave my apartment. Sorry I’m not sorry!
Finally, and this is mainly for my family and friends (bless your hearts), but finding a European husband is not at the top of my to-do list. If that happens, cool, I guess. But please don’t feel disappointed if I actually do decide to come home at some point and I don’t have a husband and dual passport carrying kids in tow. Lord, I shutter just thinking about it! I have never ever traveled to find love and I don’t plan on starting now. To conclude: I’m not having a nervous breakdown and I’m not man-hunting. I’m just a girl who loves to travel, is ready for a new life experience and wants to help teach some kiddies some English.
Ready a.k.a. Anxious
Can I just go already?! As scared as I am and as misunderstood as I feel, I am so damn ready to take some action. I’m tired of thinking about this move. I won’t be able to think my way out of feeling less fearful, I need to ACT. I need to move through my fear and I’m so damn ready. Now, am I ready for this move to Madrid in the traditional sense of completing my Rosetta Stone lessons and planning what to pack? Of course not. We’ll discuss that part of my life transition in a later post.
I know this was the post from hell but I feel so much better being honest with myself and you all about how I feel about this. OF COURSE I’M EXCITED. I’m freaking ecstatic! I just don’t think it’s fair to make it look like moving abroad is a mental, emotional and physical piece of cake because it isn’t. If it were, don’t you think everyone would be doing it? I also wanted to put myself on blast because you all need to know that I’m not as much of a tough guy as I pretend to be. This journey is going to have insane highs and lows but I seriously can’t wait. Thanks for listening 🙂
Have you ever moved abroad? Have you had any of these emotions when preparing for a big trip or move? Am I completely nuts? Let me know what you think in the comments section!