Oh gosh, it’s been so long I’m afraid I don’t know how to put words together.
I was checking some old stuff lately and then I was thinking about this blog and then I read my last post and… I knew I had to write something here. To give an update – even if just to myself.
Things changed, scrambled apart and together again, and I ended up going on crazy adventures.
So here’s the story (prepare yourselves because it is a bit long):
It begins after that course/experience I was going to participate in, which was awesome and I met incredible people, but that despite the positive feedback, still left me stranded in the middle of nowhere. I knew it wasn’t really what I wanted to be doing, not quite where I wanted to spend my energy.
So back to usual life I went: freelancing through Christmas and New Year and feeling like shit, month after month, and realizing that the plans I had at the beginning of that year were far and formless. And I couldn’t understand what I could DO to change things. I was HOPELESS, good lord. STILL hopeless.
And then I wanted to go away – FAST. It was just what I knew. I had nothing to lose, I was not earning enough money to be happy with the work I was doing, my anxiety was increasing and increasing and increasing and I was turning into a strange monster I suspect was eating humans at the dead of the night.
So without thinking too much into it I jumped into a plan that had stayed on the sidelines of my life for some time: I bought a plane ticket to Portugal to spend some months with my aunt(who lives there).
And really, if I had this option, why wouldn’t I take it?
My only plan was to get there, find some job at a coffee shop or restaurant and work for 3 months and see where it would lead me. I would probably meet new people, have new experiences and I would be able to BREATHE. And if nothing went well, I could at least earn some money and travel a bit. Good, right?
So in last April there I went, not really knowing what to expect.
I had never stayed so long far from home and people told me I would miss everything a lot. But for some reason I was not scared and was really calm about it all. I REALLY missed home only once, during my second week there – and I believe it was more because I was having one of those days than anything else. I mean, I talked to my mom everyday through video call and messaged my friends all the time so?
But still of course things never go as swiftly as expected.
First I tried finding different and cool courses to take so I could have different experiences. But I found only a few that sounded interesting and that weren’t too expensive.
Then I started looking for work (part-time) – at the beginning at specific places and then afterwards everywhere. (THROW YOUR RESUMES EVERYWHERE)
No success for the first 2 months.
And then I got an opportunity to work at a restaurant – full time, night shift. It was far from what I wanted but I took it. It was hella fun and interesting. It gave me good money, I meet fun people! Gained crazy experience! Served a lot of crazy people!
But it was also extremely tiring and draining. So after a month and a half I knew I couldn’t do it anymore – and one of the courses I was interested in would be during work time. So I decided to try and change my shift, but not being able to do it I ended up quitting.
I took the course. It was meh. Not what I expected, and shorter than what I wanted. By then it was already August. I felt stupid for leaving the job for something that really didn’t help me much.
I felt again stuck and lost.
And then my aunt started to say how I should try and find a work in my area – which is Design, which made me feel sick just to think about, which I was trying to get away from by going there.
And bless her, my aunt is a very nice person who gave me a place to stay and cared for me a lot – but she started to make me go crazy a bit. Because she started to push at all my anxiety buttons and “what I was going to do now” and “what were my plans” and “how I should do this and do that”.
I felt the monster creeping in again and was scared to be responsible for international disappearances as well…
One day I had a fight with her because of it, and called my mom crying, eager to get out of there. I had already bought the ticket back when I went – for September – and I just had to wait one month and I would go home and everything would be alright.
But it still felt like a waste, going away. I was there, in a place full of possibilities, and going back home where I had nothing to expect? It sounded bad. (It could also have been that they found out about the monster and were trying to capture me by bringing me home so…)
So I remembered this little seed of an idea that I had come upon on my first month there: WWOOFing. An idea that I was a bit afraid to try, to be honest.
It sounded too crazy, too far from who I was. Probably not what others were expecting I would do. But at that time I was a bit desperate and just willing to go anywhere.
So I sent a message to a farm, then to another, and then decided I would delay my flight to the end of the year and use all my time to go to those farms. I was excited, truly excited, for the first time in months.
I mean, how I didn’t do this before? I love nature. I’m always aching to be near it. I feel it deep in my bones all the time and just seeing a beautiful place full of nature makes my heart beat fast. I could even fucking become a tree. So it looked like the perfect option.
And let me tell you: I had A BLAST. The best 3 months in my life. I loved being in the middle of nowhere. I loved working with my body, planting. I loved getting dirty and putting my hands in the soil. I loved going on walks on my free time. I also loved meeting new people – people like minded. WONDERFUL people, from all around the world. I did crazy things that I wouldn’t ever think of doing before: including a trail in the middle of nowhere to try and find an abandoned convent (that me and a friend actually discovered it was out of bonds for the public lol).
It was fun. It was a marvelous experience. And it put me right where I felt I should be.
I never felt so fearless as I did during those months.
And despite being introverted and very concerned about personal space, I discovered that I can live with lots of people, sleep in a room with strangers, be ok in ANY place. And actually befriend everyone.
I don’t know, I felt so empowered, so good about myself. So confident.
And then I learned more about Permaculture and Organic Farming and all things related to nature and sustainability. And really, I just want to work with it.
I knew I wanted to work near nature and I was thinking of ways of doing it, and this experience showed me different possibilities. Amazing paths.
So now I’m going back to Portugal next month, and I will be staying in an ecovillage where I hope I will learn lots of things and see even more possibilities. I’m planning for the future and am extremely excited in trying to construct my own path. To dance along it.
And that’s it. This is what I wanted to share. I think it is a wonderful follow up to the last post I left here. Passion and Purpose. Because at that time I was feeling lost and anxious, just trying to find things that I liked doing. I wished and wished I could do the right kind of wandering, the one that would give me new perspectives. And then I went out there and DID tried things and it worked (it fucking worked, can you believe it?).
I also realized it doesn’t have to be so complicated. Maybe your passion and purpose is something as simple as being close to nature, like me.
Don’t let that critic inner voice say ‘You should, you should, you should’.
Hear the wants, the needs. Find what makes your heart ache.
Think about something that if someone told you ‘You know, we are deleting this from life’, you would get out of your way and fight for it, tooth and nail.
And well, yeah I am still concerned about earning money and in finding jobs in this area (maybe even going back to college?). It will be hard. But I’m willing to try it all – and I’m so so full of energy.
And most important: I’m happy.
So yeah. If anyone reads it, feel free to share your recent journeys and adventures. And if you just need to talk, mumbling session is free here.
I hope everyone is doing good!
Chasing what makes you happy.