In March 2018 I decided I was going to live in France for a year. The reason? I was honestly very disappointed with where my non-existent career was headed, and by this, I mean I had absolutely no clue what I wanted to do with my life. Therefore, I decided that some fresh air and new ways of living could get me a bit closer to myself, in order to find some clarity and discover where my true passion was standing.
To prepare for this leap, I started what I called The Simulation Process, a stage previous to my trip in which I would explore, detect, analyse and face my inner self to get to know me the best I could. In a few words, a softer version of what I believed I was going to go throughout my trip.
1. The Inner vision
To accomplish this I got new tools: I increased my reading about spirituality and motivation, got new and healthier habits, started attending to more yoga classes that could offer a better connection to my inner space.
I practised mindfulness: being aware of your feelings from the witness corner without judging or fighting your emotions. Once I could name my feelings, I got full of them letting them invade me and pass through me to then surrender and letting go. Yes, there is a time for feeling thrilled and utterly sad, but it all passes, and the only thing that always remains is change, so no feeling is forever lasting. And that was a comfort.
2. The Enjoyment
This phase was a natural outcome from the inner vision, like going from within to the outside like a blossom: first, time to nurture the rebirth, and then, time to make it shine. I enjoyed so much every step of the way, the little things that I knew were not going to last. The hug of my niece, the walk to work in the mornings, sharing a meal with my friends.
When you know they’re not going to last, you make every little detail count, you make all the efforts to record and stick the memories in your head, every smell, every sound, every texture, all the colours. How they make you feel at home and at peace.
3. The Panic
This phase was the storm after the calm, if we may say it backwards. I started doubting everything: was I going to be able to get a job? Would I get depressed for being alone? Would it be a good choice to give up everything? I realized that most of my fears were about: a) getting out of the comfort zone, and b) running out of money.
The first one was exactly what I was looking for, the whole point of everything. So yes, it was there, but dealing with it was the bridge that would take me to the other shore, so there was nothing I could do about it. Moreover, and with every aspect of my life, I was willing to face the worst the fastest, because yes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and it makes you more confident also. As regards the second one, I had made sure to save all the money I could and had planned multiple scenarios that could help me in case of a massive disaster.
So being that covered, I stepped back and hold myself from overreaction to release the pressure.
4. The Letting Go
It was the phase of saying goodbye and literally allowing myself to go on this journey. In this last sprint I tried to embrace everything that was around and then kindly let it go: in order for new things to come, you need to make room for them.
I forced myself to go one day at a time, one breath at a time, and also: a) to not try to handle things that were out of my reach, let the future me take care of it when the time comes; b) be kind and patient because I’m always going to be a newbie in some aspect of the situations that will come; c) look for help when I need to, it’s okay if I can’t deal with everything myself, other people’s perception as well as putting feelings into words give us more specific insight into what’s going on in our minds.
Finally, the day came. I found myself surrounded by amazing people that came willingly and spontaneously to say goodbye and send good wishes. Of course, nothing prepares you for what you actually feel, that’s the unavoidable unknown we’re all looking for: the rush, the high.
But yes, The Simulation Process gave me all the confidence and strength I needed to be able to enjoy it, without trying to undermine it or setting it under the carpet, but for being able to actually be present every step of the way, even in the fallouts.