Reality check

Today I turned 29, one more year till 30, as someone pointed out on a birthday card. I always looked at people in their 30s as grown-ups, people who have their lives sorted. Those people who look full of confidence. I feel like I never got rid of all those insecurities that show up in your teens. I always thought I’d be settled at this age, with a job, a husband and even kids. I always wanted to be a mum at a young age. But as it turns out, my wishes don’t suit my personality.

I chose to leave my country, one of the scariest things I’ve ever done and at the same time the best decision I could have made. I was never happy. I just plowed through the days, one step at a time, living up to people’s expectations. But what about my expectations? My dreams? My wishes? I was living in a lie, hiding myself, pretending to be something I was not, deceiving with a smile. Things didn’t really get better until I left. I left my old life behind to go on the adventure I’d been dreaming of since I was a kid.

At first it was scary. I left everything that felt secure and safe. I was on my own, for real this time. For years I had felt isolated, alone in my thoughts and feelings, but now I really was. And yet I met complete strangers who showed me a different way of life. I confided in strangers, talking about things I couldn’t even tell my friends. It was like every person I met was holding a mirror in front of me, daring me to look. I changed. I stopped hiding. I did the things I loved doing and nobody was judging me. Then one day, 3 years ago, I had a shocking thought; I was happy and realised that I had been happy for a while.

Funnily enough I like my little routines, even though my life has changed over and over again in the last four years. Every moment of change is hard for me, and I’ve hit another one.  The ski season is over and summer is starting. I’ve minimised the change by staying in the same place, but I’ll have a new house, a new job, new people in my life… the mountains are the only constant. My life is far from normal, but it’s the path I needed to take. Everything I do challenges my personality and forces me to think about what is important to me. I am ready for my other dreams now, finding a home, although that turns out to be pretty difficult.

I’d like to stay, but maybe I can’t. All I know is that I’m not going back to my original home. Then I’d rather wander around the world for a bit longer. Life on the road isn’t easy and I have had many moments where I felt down and even moments where I was afraid I would lose all the progress I made and fall back into old habits. But I haven’t. More often than not I stop and think about how happy I am. I am dealing with the hard times without letting them drag me down into depression. And that’s how I know I’ve made the right decision in going travelling. This is me. This is my normal, my reality. Sure, there are things I wish were different and some things are harder because of the life I’ve chosen, but this is life that’s best for me. Nothing is perfect. But I’m happy!

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