The way in which a man accepts his faith and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he keeps up his cross, gives him ample opportunity - even under the most difficult circumstances - to add a deeper meaning to his life.
- Viktor E. Frankl
See that quote above? Well, that's not me. When faced with adversity I crumbled like a 2 day old cake. I went from being a cheerful, positive, open-minded person to becoming an evil bitch. Yes. Seriously. I didn't like me very much. When I moved to Spain over a year ago I thought I'd rock it! In my (very active) imagination, people would swoon in awe at the awesomeness that is me. Yes, modesty thy name is not Hani.
Of course it was nothing like I dreamt it would be. In fact, it sucked. For me. I didn't speak the language, the culture was so different, I missed my family, friends and lifestyle not to mention the FOOD! And it seemed like everything I had taken for granted back home were just not available as easily here.
Who was this whiny, complaining, controlling person? I asked myself.
Then I met a someone who told me wisely, "Ah you've been here a year? Don't worry, it'll all get better from here! It takes about a year for you to acclimatize yourself"
What?? I didn't know other people go through this as well! Then I felt ashamed thinking of all the other people who went through this with much more grace than I!
In hindsight, now that I am back to awesome (note to self: work on modesty issues) the past year has been such a rewarding, learning experience for me. I've grown so damn much I am energetically bigger than I used to be.
Some of the things I've learnt:
- When it comes to friends, hold out for the good ones! When in a new place it is tempting to be-friend any one who will speak to you and whilst I encourage meeting as many new people as possible hold out for the great ones to take as BFFs. I cannot stress this enough. It will save you so much headache in the future! It took a while but I finally have a good set of friends who sincerely enjoy my company as much as I enjoy theirs!
- Recognize that some of your reactions are from your past. I remember feeling like I had 'regressed' in the way I reacted to certain things. Then it struck me, when faced with situations that my mind classified as 'fear' I would regress to how I would react to things as a child! Things were so foreign to me that it was the only way I knew how to behave. When I realised this, it allowed me to actively choose the way I chose to react.
- Figure out what you need to 'learn' in your life. It was very hard to give up control on my life and trust someone else to take charge since I had always been a DIY kinda girl back home. So my lesson was to sit back and trust, let go and allow someone else take care of me. It helps to have a bit of a ponder on what exactly you are supposed to learn from all the twists and turns coming your way. The quicker you get it, the better it will be for you!
- If there is a new language to learn, learn is ASAP!! Learning Spanish opened so many more doors for me and yet in the beginning, it took me forever to decide to take classes! Now not only can I speak to random strangers (which I am wont to do), I can do a lot of things by myself which brings me great joy!! :D Hani is a big girl now!
- True passion will always remain. I say this because when I was feeling down, I remember thinking, "I don't know what I want to do??!" Even though Filmmaking and performing has been a passion of mine since childhood. But once I overcame, my passion returned without a doubt. So, true passion, will always remain no matter what...
- Remember point (1) ? Well, if it weren't for my old friend from back home, this experience would've sucked a LOT more. So making good friends goes a loooong way.
- And finally know that it won't last. Allow yourself to feel your emotions and work on your issues but not be defined by them. At the time I felt like such a failure because I seemed to be the only one who couldn't 'hack' it, but really, it was just my way of working through my 'issues'. Now I can hardly believe I felt that way.
So, these are some of the things I learnt and I keep discovering more and more as I meditate on my life! To be fair it wasn't all bad, I had a lot of great experiences but now.. it's even better :D This article has been highly personal and I thought long and hard about writing it. But what the hell, it's not who you were but who you are now that matters. And who knows, if it helps others going though the same thing, all the better!
Have you moved to a new place? Something been bugging you? Tell me in the comments! Or if you have any tips to share on moving, let me know as well! :D