I’ll be real and raw for one hot minute – I still sometimes think of the year 2019 as the year of failure. I’m ashamed of admitting this because I lived on Greek islands for more than half the year. Doesn’t sound like a bad life now, does it?
While my Canadian homies were deep in snow, I was taking a boat to work in 25 degree weather.
Sadly, I still fight the bitterness of my year abroad and what I could say was my complete loss of touch with myself and reality.
Within three weeks of my work contract ending, I left a city I had lived in for 19 years of my life, I left my family and my friends and, I left my home country of Canada.
I got lost, I got really lonely and depressed and I made a lot of dumb decisions that I still beat myself up for.
Cue Brenee Brown’s Netflix doc “A Call To Courage”.
Brown’s years of research on the intertwined topics of courage, vulnerability and gratefulness are truly remarkable and life changing.
In my books, this year, I have failed (even though I didn’t! It was a year of enormous growth and many lessons!) Perhaps in a couple of years, I will see how much I needed this year to happen to me and how grateful I am that it did. But, I am not there yet.
Today for example, I see some light. It was my first day in the position of production intern at an up and coming media agency in my dream city of Amsterdam, where I now live.
“So this past year wasn’t all for nothing after all!” “These so-called ‘mistakes’ led to where I am today.”
On previous days, I have sat at home anxiously with a heavy and vulnerable heart.
“Why am I here?” “My home is Canada. I should be there, not here”.
I feel confused, because I dared. I dared to be seen outside of my element, my comfort zone and in my vulnerable state. And like Brown says, not a lot of people will risk losing, will risk being exposed , will risk being seen completely naked, and yet, this is what happened:
I was stripped to my bare bones. I didn’t hold back with people. I told them how I felt, good and bad, I let it all out. I felt my heart break free of its chains. I felt my heart shrink and break into millions of little pieces. I danced like nobody was watching, rode my bike drunk too many times. I held a job I didn’t like. I met a lot of people I didn’t like. I overstayed. I got lost. I got bored. I wrote and then I didn’t. I climbed mountains and then I stayed still for five months. I met some amazing people though, people I will always remember no matter what.
That being said, the only reason why I feel confused is because I have yet to completely accept that I dared and the consequences, positive and negative, that came with it.
Accept yourself wherever you are on this journey with the good and the bad. Your perceived failure means you put yourself out there, and that should be seen as a win. And with a little bit of patience, you will be grateful that you have dared. Good things are on their way.