Soundtrack: I lived – One Republic
“Hope when you take that jump, you don’t fear the fall
Hope when the moment comes, you’ll say…
I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived”
We’re back home now and I should be getting busy applying for jobs in Montreal, getting my new life started. Everyday I try to motivate myself, and everyday I fail to do so. If I am entirely honest, I find it very hard to get on with it. This whole process is so excruciating. Applying to dozens and dozens of jobs that you think might be a fit for you. Pretending that you are the greatest at everything they are looking for and that they HAVE TO hire you. Faking passion for the industry they work in and love for companies you know nothing about except for what you’ve read on wikipedia and their HR marketing page. Add to this the complexity of getting sponsored for a VISA and you’re in for a nervous breakdown.
To tell you the truth, when I look for a job, I look at the company last. Of course I can’t picture myself working for a company that sells windshield wipers or produces toilet seats, but as long as the company is relatively innovative and somehow in the vast land of the digital, I care more about the people there, the general atmosphere and mindset and the opportunity to do great things. I want a job that drives me, something to give a 100% of my energy to, something to get invested in and fully commit to… is that too much to ask? Maybe…(Arg! Millenials, right?). Since the job search isn’t really leading anywhere so far, I plan my trip to Canada instead.
I have been dreaming about Canada since I first moved in my new apartment in Stuttgart. I remember telling my mum, as a joke at the time, after she and my dad spent a week with me building furniture, that I wanted to move to Canada now. The idea stuck in my head ever since. It evolved a bit and migrated from Vancouver to Montreal but it was always there, in the back of my mind. And now is time for me to take the jump. Go on a big adventure on my own; an adventure that might change my life forever. So I start buying tons of things online that I think I might need. The perfect backpacker’s attire. I am probably overdoing it but this is my first solo trip, and quite frankly, this is the most fun part. I am getting really excited and start packing already, even though it is still really early. I feel so ready.
But quickly, reality catches up with me when I start looking at possible itineraries. I don’t want to plan too much in advance, you know, woman with no plan and all that, but I also don’t want to go there completely unprepared. Somehow I start to worry about lots of things I didn’t think about until now: what if I don’t meet anyone? What if I am alone the whole time? Is this really something for me? Soon, anxiety sets in. I am starting to have major second thoughts and “I don’t want to go anymore” feelings. Typical me! Which is good I tell myself, because I know by now not to listen to myself too much in those moments. Another good thing: tickets are booked and non refundable so for better or for worse I am going to Canada in 12 days. Better get my act together!
Days pass and I keep on preparing myself. I try to be all easy peasy, fresh and breathy, to be a live-in-the-moment kind of gal, embrace the woman-with-no-plan philosophy and seize the day without worry. But if I am entirely honest with myself, I do worry. I have applied to a bunch of jobs but received no feedback so far and I am a bit stressed out. What if I was too quick to quit my previous position? What if my profile is not interesting enough? What if I made a terrible mistake leaving? But the truth is, I didn’t really have a choice at that time. I just couldn’t cope anymore… but that’s a story for another day.
In less time that it takes me to write this article, it is almost time for me to leave home. I spend most of my last week reading by the pool, trying to relax and embrace what comes next. The sun is finally out for good and I want to make the most of it. I am starting to get tanned and smile at the realization that I have barely worn any clothes this week. I changed from my pajamas to my swimming suit and back to my pajamas. Not exactly productive but I won’t be home for the rest of the summer so this is my last chance.
We have one last family day, the annual family barbecue. Four years ago, when I came back from studying in the US, I asked my mum to invite my entire family for a barbecue because I hadn’t seen them in a year. After that, we decided to make it a yearly tradition. Not everyone was able to come this year because we planned it a bit last minute, but we still have a great time. The sun is out and it is hot. We spend the day around the table, another family tradition. Before dinner we play board games with my little cousins, laughing with them, being amused and amazed by the universes they create in their minds, full of imaginary wolf friends, treasures and great adventures. Everyone wishes me the best of luck on my trip and asks me to keep them posted on my progresses. I won’t see any of them for a while so I enjoy every moment I have.
We spend our last Sunday at home just the four of us. We go to vote and swim in the pool. Our neighbors come to pick up some apricots in our tree and we have a drink with them afterwards. I tell myself one more time how much I love this simple life my parents live and created for us. The best kind of life. The next day will be my last day at home and I haven’t packed anything yet. I hope I don’t start being anxious again about leaving.
I spend this last day packing and getting everything ready. I try to still take some time to read and enjoy the pool and the sun. I can’t really believe that it is time already. I am excited, even though I don’t quite grasp the reality of the situation yet. This might very well be my biggest adventure yet and I can’t help but feeling a little anxious and sad. I am excited of course but this is so new to me. I hope it goes well. Tomorrow I have to wake up at the crack of dawn (ok 7 am but still…). My dad is dropping me off at the airport before work.
And there my adventure starts… Time to take that jump.
See you on the other side,