Thursday, May 5, 2016

Isabella 2.0

I'm Isabella. 
I just got here. 

I've been doing a lot of thinking these past two or so weeks about how I came to return to Austria, what I've been doing these past few months, and how I've been during that time. Mentally and physically, but with the main weight of my internal investigation directed toward the mental. Not crazy mental, but the general world of feelings that we humans carry around inside of us, whether we're conscious of it or not. 

I'd been thinking about all that ever since I bought my and the kittie's plane tickets, of course. Now, though, my perspective has shifted, my perception of myself and my surroundings has changed, and I'm able to view things, my current situation and my future, through a lens that was previously not available to me. 

The most life-changing "epiphany" regards the basic nature of my return. Independently of the actual circumstances, which I am still not willing to disclose, I've been seeing it as a bad thing. Making the incredibly difficult decision to leave UWI and Trinidad has, so far, felt like a gigantic failure to me. Regardless of how things went down and what things went down, all I could see was "dropout" and "step back" and "giving up" and "failure"... 

I think it took this long, because it's not just the degree and the university versus whatever will happen now, here in Austria. I've been a student for as long as I can remember. From the first day of kindergarten until the last day before I left Trinidad, I've been a student. So not only did my place of residence change in September, my whole universe changed. I've never not been a student, so what am I now? Maybe putting it this way will help those who can't imagine my dilemma, those who haven't been in this situation. I moved myself into a new place, geographically. But I also moved everything I am around to where I was completely lost. 

I pulled the rug out from under my own feet. And I just now managed to catch myself. 

Now, what I see is: Opportunity

This is huge. It's hard to understand unless you've been in the same situation, but I tell you, it's gigantic. 

For over seven months, I was nowhere. In limbo. I had physically left Trinidad, but I wasn't able to let go. Because of that, I physically arrived in Austria, but I wasn't really here. That's what made everything so difficult: you can't settle down when you're still so very attached to another place, another situation, another life. You can't hear or even feel yourself, you can't make any plans for the immediate/near/far future, you can't take a proper deep breath. 

Until the moment I was finally able to let go of previous plans and ideas and visions of the future, I wasn't even aware of how deeply all of that had been affecting me. 

I drew that first deep breath, air flowing down all the way into my belly, lungs stretching, a heavy weight lifting off off me. I suddenly stood more straight, walked with determination, looked confident. 

Now, that I wasn't holding on to the past anymore, with my whole arm stretched out and grasping tightly at any and all straws behind me, I could turn to the future properly: standing tall and facing ahead. The present less scary, the future an open field, my mind at ease, my inner voice suddenly speaking up and I heard it!

No, I don't have a real plan yet, I'm still searching. I'm still applying for jobs and still learning how to be my real self again, still finding out who that really is. But I do feel and hear me now. Not 100%, but more every day. Now, when I hear someone tell me that I'm going to be okay, I'm able to believe it. 

It took 219 days to get here.
Seven months and six days.
But I'm here now.

I just got here.
I'm Isabella.