So many new thoughts have entered my overactive mind in the last few weeks. While I love my adventurous side (and still have a dozen more countries that I would like to see), I have this need to settle down. No, I don’t necessarily mean having kids, getting married, buying a house and investing in things. I mean, I want to find a place that I can call home. This has been all too difficult for the past few years because I’ve had to move apartments, countries and cities every 2-4 months for work or because of a lease that has ended. It’s left me somewhat bitter in that I have to pack up everything I own once again and try to make a new place “homey”. So once again, it’s been a total of 6 weeks in this new place and I have to move out. Just lovely.
When I heard the news 3 weeks ago, I frantically searched real estate websites in Barcelona and even went as far as looking at places in Cape Town and Berlin. I also thought perhaps I’d do a month-long travel through Europe. But moving cities and moving countries means yet again getting used to the area, learning the language and so on and so forth. While that is exciting, I am just not in the place right now.
I’ve been living in Barcelona now for 5 months… and I love it. I am quite sure that I am not convincing myself that I love it because I don’t feel like making a big move. When I think back on the places I have lived throughout my adult life, none feel like home… besides Barcelona. Just my luck though, that places available for March are either utterly shit or too expensive. So, in an attempt to get my ducks in a row, I’ve bought a return ticket to go home for 2 months. In this time, I hope to save my money, come back in May and get a one bedroom place. There’s just one problem with all of this…
Having broken away from life in my home country, people move on – much as the same as I have too. They’re different, I am different. And suddenly, I get the feeling as though they really couldn’t care less that I am coming home. Family and friends probably see me as a burden as I need to crash at their place and rely on them (or public transport) to get around. I hate been reverted back to the state where I rely on others. I’ve recently learned that this is the reason why I love living in a different country. I don’t want nor need the help of others. Additionally, I realised that I don’t really have any one in this entire world that gives a fuck where I am or what I am doing. Sad, but sort of freeing.
So while I will only be spending two months at home, it almost feels wrong. It feels like I’ve bought a one-way ticket to a place where I am “the baby” again, asking for help. I really should be excited but I’m just not.
I am completely transformed back to a place in which I felt utterly hopeless. I lacked motivation and drive, I felt nothing and I hated it. The only difference now is – I have become somewhat of a recluse, spending all of my time inside my bedroom. I dread going outside. Everything outside seems like a chore – bumping into people, glancing at strangers’ faces, having to figure myself out in the city. I’m in beautiful Barcelona but it feels more like I am in a dark hole.
What is the point of traveling, living in new countries and cities when I can’t even get the energy to leave the house? What’s more frustrating, is that my friends tell me to snap out of it. They just don’t understand that there’s something weird and irrational happening in my overactive mind. I know that I need to get out more, and I fantasise about it constantly by Googling exciting places to see, cafes to work in, countries and hotels to visit – but all of those hours are put to waste when I wake up and cannot give myself a single reason to get out of bed.
I used to be a doer. I yearn for those days again. Now, I am back to that place where my anxiety is so high that I hope for wonderful things, plan them excessively and then – do nothing. Do I up the dose on my anti-depressants? Do I wait it out? Trying to push myself is just not working anymore. I don’t know what will work but this just can’t be how I live my life.
After almost seven weeks in a brand new country, you would think that I would have a lot to say. In actuality, I’m struggling to find my words. The age old irony of the writer that has lost her words.
While I felt immense dread before coming to Spain, I naively had a thought that perhaps things would be different for me. Surely there is a place, a man, and a career out there in one or other country waiting for me to grab it? Sadly, Spain has proven to be quite a let down and truthfully… it’s all my fault.
I was silly to think that I could go back to ESL teaching after having experience a life as a professional writer. I fooled myself in believing that Spain would hold adventure and love for me, and that it wouldn’t matter what job I had if I was living in one of the most breathtaking countries in the world. This is one of many lies I have told myself.
I am living a lifeless life. I don’t speak the language. I have no friends. I am about to embark on a career that I don’t love while giving up on one that I do… and it’s all my fault.
I’ve taken a million steps backwards in my quest for happiness and I am overcome with guilt. I’m stuck and I don’t know how to get out without upsetting someone. Help.
I left London. I left the chaos of London. I left the disappointment of England. I left behind the love/hate relationship that I was in with the country, with the city. While I know that living there made my dreams come true, professionally, I feel as though I have failed.
Losing my job at the only company that I loved, was heartbreaking. I feel as though I had it all and now, I have nothing. The experience left me with skills that are irreplaceable and while I am still doing what I love, writing, England had a way of chewing me up and spitting me out, on many occasions. That is why I will always love and hate London.
I left it, though. “You are really living your best life,” my friends say. Truth is, I am jumping from country to country, pretending to love the adventure when in actuality, all I am searching for is love and happiness. Will I find it in Spain? I hope so.
I felt that feeling in the upper half of my chest that I get when men break up with me. I would say it was my heart that was aching, but we all know that isn’t literally it. The feeling can only be described as a physical cry out for help, from the inside out. It’s a selfish feeling for it will not allow you not to cry – regardless of circumstances, where you are or who you are with. That feeling doesn’t care about you.
I sat in the chair on the left, as naturally it’s been determined that people of a powerful stature sit on the right, not expecting to feel that ache again. Breathing does not help it, walking does not help it. Crying extensively just does not help it. Time helps, but time is a fickle thing. It “doesn’t have the time to give you all the answers to the never-ending ‘why?‘”. Why am I special that I get to complain about my rejection? My doctor has me on anti-depressants. I am depressed, so thus I am allowed to complain. I am allowed to justify that I feel things a lot more than what you do merely because I am “depressed”[this is utter bullshit].
Before I end my ridiculous rant that is illegible, I pose you these questions: What is life to you? Do you move cities and countries in hope to find your happy ending? Do you feel as though you’re constantly running at warp speed trying to find something? Is that a normal feeling? Is it normal to feel as though you’re being kicked in your phantom balls nearly every single day because you clearly are not good enough to compete with the rest of them? Maybe I’ve lied to myself so much that I actually believe the running is good. I don’t need anyone, I was born alone and I will most certainly die that way.
I should have known when you persisted to call me by my childhood name that this was not going to go anywhere profound. I’m not that person anymore (or at least I’d like to think so). Something keeps pulling me back though. It was as if you know that I would be taken back to that negative train of thought and hatred for myself.
Just when I thought my life couldn’t get any better. When I thought I had figured out the secret to living a happy life – everything came crashing down. I am back to the place where I know that life isn’t about being happy, it’s about continuously searching for more.
I know that people will do anything to win or gain the upper hand. They don’t care about you or your feelings. They care about themselves because people are selfish assholes. In the process, I’ve lost my voice. Everyone is always stealing my voice so that I fade away so easily in the crowd. I’m not even a face that stands out, I’m the person in black that is hardly recognisable in the shadow.
I’m tired of hearing the same things from you though. “You deserve more” “everyone goes through it”. It’s something you say because you really don’t have the balls to say out loud what’s been going through my mind from the time that I could process meaningful thoughts.
Here’s my voice, here are my thoughts, this is what I am saying – don’t edit me, don’t change it and don’t misconstrue it. This is me.
To my body, I am sorry. I fucked up. I worked hard at respecting you and my mind. I fucked up.
To my family, I fucked up.
I did this all to myself and now it feels as though I was to throw up my entire body inside out.