Like many women’s stories in this community, I left the place I was born and raised in, to venture in a totally unknown place, with dreams and with many aspirations and fears. It was a very difficult decision to make, and for a long time I meditated, analyzed, evaluated the cons and pros, planned, decided, and resisted countless times. When the fear hit, I felt butterflies in my stomach and I changed my mind. As it is always warmer and nicer to be in our comfort zone than out of it. However, dreams came and filled myself with brightness and my chest with courage which renewed my feelings and energy. I was oscillating between these feelings for a long time, and I can say that it was a period of maturity for me to finally make up my mind. I decided to leave, and, even though it was not easy, it was the best decision I ever made.
At first, everything was new and fun, it was a new world that opened up, a new culture, a new climate, everything was different; it was like playing with a new toy. With all this “fun” time, it was possible for me to feel the hospitality of my new life. As I found myself in a place I knew nothing about, where nothing was familiar, where I had to relearn do to basically everything, even the most basic things like getting people to understand me over the phone, which was a daily challenge, like many others. It was exactly how the Brazilian saying goes: it was like “killing a lion per day”. All of this consumed all my energy, which was also new to me. Along with all of these challenges, there was an enormous longing, for everything. For my family, for the food, for my routine, for the smells, for the sea and even for the things I used to dislike. It was a difficult phase, I cried about everything and I felt very alone. But, at the same time, there were those moments in which I stared outside the window I thought: WOW! I can’t believe I am here! I was amazed by my courage and strength for having come so far, and for living in a place I had never pictured myself in. Those moments of astonishment and pride were invigorating . During this adaptation period that was troubled, and filled with ups and downs, I had the support of close friends and, of course, of my therapist.
I eventually made new friends that were in the same or similar situation as I was, and meeting them was crucial for they inspired me a lot. I kept thinking: “They are doing it, how amazing, I can do it too!”. And so, in addition to my new friends, I created new routines, new networks, and overcame obstacles. Despite all the difficulties that all adaptations bring, they also bring growth and maturing. All the experiences I had, from the happiest to saddest ones, were the foundation of my personal development. In hindsight, I can say that I became a braver person, more independent, more confident and more focused on enjoying this freedom that came with the new season of my life. Now, I can honestly say that I am a citizen of the world. I am very proud of this new version of me, which wouldn’t exist if I had made different choices in the past.