I remember being 15-years-old and I told my mother that I’m going to move to the UK. I did not know how, why or when – I just knew. Growing up in Sweden, I always felt different and a bit like an outsider. Felt restless and had this feeling of not fitting in.
I always felt that I had to please others, and I let people walk all over me. I cared tremendously about other people’s opinions. I never stood up for myself or what I believe in, and I thought that I would become happy if I just lost weight or met a man.
It’s part of growing up, I guess. My confidence was low, and instead of finding happiness from within, I thought that I had to discover it from others, and the external world.
People told me many times to settle and find myself a “proper” job, to stop daydreaming about moving abroad, and finding my purpose. It was just silly, they said. I would never be able to achieve it.
I had a constant battle with my thoughts. Perhaps they were right? Maybe I am just silly. I tried to convince myself that it’s better to follow your friends and families advice because they know better right?
Well, even if I tried to push my intuitive calling away, the idea of moving abroad was following me through the years. It was always there in the back of my head, whispering in my ear.
The years went, and I came to a point in my life when I felt that it was time to leave Sweden. I knew I had to make a change. However, I still didn’t know how to relocate to the UK with no financial foundation, work or somewhere to live. I also felt too scared, and I understood that I had to take steps that were manageable and within reach.
So I decided to move to Denmark.
By taking a gentle step to Denmark felt like a journey in the right direction. It was close to Sweden and when I decided to go for it, doors opened for me. I found myself a job and an apartment in Copenhagen.
I felt happy and relaxed. I enjoyed my life in Copenhagen. I was working fulltime as a shop manager, and I was out and about, meeting people and creating connections with my photography and live music.
And then my life changed in a way I could never have imagined. I became ill and admitted to the hospital. Due to a twisted colon, I had a life-saving colostomy operation, it was a mass of endometriosis that caused it. On the same day, the unthinkable happened; my beloved mother was found dead in her apartment in Sweden.
What do you do when your life falls apart, and you know that you will never be the same again? How do you find the strength to continue to fight and carry on?
I had so many questions, and I couldn’t understand what was happening. There were times when I wanted to give up, and it felt like I had nothing to live for anymore. What was the point? My mother was gone. I had a stoma bag on my belly. Carers in my home. Would I be able to recover? Was my stoma permanent?
I felt a deep hole in my heart and within my soul. I missed my mother so much. It was difficult to grieve and at the same time trying to get well and recover.
I don’t know how I found my strength. Something within me told me to keep on fighting. The intuitive feeling was intense. I knew I had to do it for myself, as well as for my late mother.
Six months later, my bowel had recovered, and I had a colostomy reversal. I missed my mother enormously, but I slowly began to feel that my life was not over. I still had things to do and to explore.
Twenty years after I told my mother that I wanted to relocate to the UK, the idea popped up in my head again. I remember it well. I sat by my kitchen table in my apartment in Copenhagen, it was early morning, and I enjoyed my cup of coffee. The feeling that I recognised so well was back.
This time it felt different. After the loss and my operations, I knew that anything was possible. There’s no need to be afraid. Moving to the UK is not that big of a deal, I thought. I can always come back if it doesn’t work out.
For six months, I thought about it. I planned, I did my research and I prepared.
I have to admit that I had days when I hesitated and thought to myself that perhaps it’s better to stay put in Denmark. After all, Copenhagen had been good for me. It had brought me many lessons, and insights as well as saving my life.
I asked myself:
-“What are you doing, Cath? Not again. You can’t just give up your life in Scandinavia. You have a good life here in Denmark. Your friends and family are just a short train ride across the Oresund bridge. You have a nice apartment in Copenhagen. You can get a regular job here and earn good money.”
However, this time I couldn’t resist the intuitive calling and pushed aside the fear. Sometimes you know that it’s time to move on. I felt deep within my soul that my late mother wanted me to live my life and follow my dreams. She never wanted me to stay stuck in a place that had served its purpose.
2020 marks my tenth anniversary in the UK, and I am grateful that I trusted my gut feeling and took the leap. My journey hasn’t been comfortable, though. Just because I followed my intuitive calling didn’t mean that my life would sort itself out like magic. I have experienced good, bad and challenging situations – but the difference is that I no longer feel out of place. I am home.
I want you to know that if you have an idea, a dream or a calling that keeps coming back, no matter how hard you try to push it aside – it’s there for a reason.
Your calling and mission will not leave you alone until you take action.
It can take years.
But that’s the beauty of life. You are here to live and be present in the moment. The people you meet, and the losses you go through, the jobs you get and the places you visit are all connected.
All your life experiences will bring you forward – even the ones that leave you in despair. You will identify where you belong, what you are supposed to do and who you will become.
Photo: Sasha Freemind Unsplash