Finding my niche is HARD
This was originally the ABOUT section for my homepage. But as you may have noticed, it's way too long, and more like an autobiography.
Below I explain alittle about what has brought me thus far, on life's at times rather challenging journey. It's personal and who knows if I'll regret it. But it's true.....so here it is:
Deciding on a niche or focus for a blog is really hard!
I have many different interests, and as time goes by, many different titles to my name also. But because my wanderlust and perhaps more accurately my ever growing eleutheromania (intense desire for freedom) just keeps growing, I have decided to settle on a few foci instead.
What´s so special about you, you say? Well, probably nothing. Actually, definitely nothing. Except the same old BS about us all being special and unique and important. I know that I´m special to my family. I´m very lucky in that regard. I have wonderful parents, a younger brother who is my close friend (only after we both graduated from youth!) and friends and relatives that support me.
So I guess I´m just like a lot of other people. Trying to make sense of my life, discover my path and trying to go through this experience, being as kind and as curious on the way as possible. But that's a pretty new philosophy to me. Not the "being kind" part of course, but definitely the "curious approach" part is now a priority. And even more recently the knowledge that I can live and work a Location Independent lifestyle through digital work. Ohh what wondrous times!
I´m in my thirties now. I had other plans when I graduated from high school. Didn't we all? I thought I would follow a certain path. Be married in my late twenties, have kids by the time I was 30. Have shed the weight that has superglued itself to my ass since my teens. And definitely, absolutely definitely, be in a high powered job, earning lots and lots of money!
Ha! Not quite.
Well, I mean, I was always on the nerdy side. Good grades. Valedictorian. Accepted into the only university and the only course I applied to. Why have back-ups right? It´s what I wanted, and I knew how to get there. So, I studied. And studied. And studied. For 8 years at university I had a constant shadow of huge textbooks and never-ending exams. I didn't go on holiday without my books, for 7 of those 8 years. And my body and mind was so stressed out from the chronic bad conscience about not studying enough, that I kept gaining weight and at one particular low point, had signs of depression. But I was following the plan, right? This was going to pay off!! I was putting in the time, ready to reap the benefits in my late twenties. WRONG.
About halfway through my degree, I started having serious doubts about my choices. I found it harder and harder to focus and pass the exams. I sat in the library day after day, looking out at the world. All the beautiful girls and gorgeous boys, biking past the window, living, breathing, enjoying life. I was stuck. And I stayed stuck. I dragged my ass through the bachelor. But who needs half an education? (Delusional and arrogant much?) So, I convinced myself to keep going. One semester after another, some with 3 attempts at the same course. I was miserable. But I was so lucky though right? An amazing education, a life in one of the most wonderful cities on earth, a boyfriend (from when I was 25 to 31). Life was going according to schedule. This is what I wanted damn it!!!
But I felt so lost. So alone. So completely tricked by my own better-than-though, know-it-all 19-year-old-self. The girl that had it all figured out. Laid the plan. Ticked the boxes. The girl that peaked in highschool?
Long story short. I graduated. I have my certificate. A masters degree. A clear path with financial security, laid out at my feet. So once again, I sucked it up. Surely, it gets better? If only I could just fall in love with my profession. In fact it should become my overnight vocation! I will live it and breathe it. I will become a world renowned researcher, I will publish articles in huge recognised publications and give keynote talks around the globe. WRONG.
I worked, day in and day out. I got up before the sun, and came home after it had set again. Okay, not hard to achieve for 6 months of the year in northern Europe, but still. I tried my damnedest to fit in. To find the spark of inspiration. To fall in love with my job. And it just wasn't there. Most of the time, I cried in the shower before work, I had constant stomach aches and I became less than hospitable at home with my live-in boyfriend, who gradually extricated himself from the train wreck that was my existence. No wonder.
When everything fell apart in the winter of 2013, I had to make a decision. I couldn't go on like this. It wasn't healthy, and frankly I got sick and tired of hearing myself complain, every time someone asked me about my wonderful job.
So I jumped. I took the proverbial leap of faith. (FYI: I´m an atheist, but this is still no small feat!). I let my contract run it´s course, without securing new employment. I sought professional help from a careers coach (Yay! by the way for coaches, therapists and good listeners across the globe! - But more on that some other time!!). I decided to start living my dreams. No, not because I won the lottery... which I´m still waiting for, by the way. But because it was time. Time to find that girl that had been extinguished under the weight of those textbooks and broken hearts.
So, I went to New York City. Yes, I rented an apartment, and went to NYC for 3 glorious months, to live out a life long dream of living in that truly spectacular city. It was amazing! Everything I had hoped for. The breath of "fresh" air that I so needed. It was a release. A liberation. I could get up when I wanted to. Go running by the Hudson. Walk from the UES to my apartment in SOHO, and eat world cuisine to my hearts content. But, it also taught me this: Don´t move to a new place, without having a job, a few friends or a school to attend. At least not if you're an introvert like me :)
You won´t meet people as easily as you think - and the New Yorker's are pragmatic to the N´th degree. "Ohh you´re only here for 3 months you say? Well, in that case, call me if you´re still here after 4!!" The huge turnover in people moving to and from the city has made many hesitant about forming new friendships. And understandably so.
Anyway. I could talk for hours about the NYC experience. But perhaps that will come at a later time.
So, while in New York, I made yet another life altering decision. To understand this pretty impulsive and rather odd decision, you should know that I grew up in several different European countries. I am a restless soul. The philosophical pondering that can be made on this subject alone, is material for another post or 10. But suffice it to say, that I decided to move. Out of the country. To the other end of Europe. More specifically the southern coast of Spain. Better known as the Costa del Sol (The Sunshine Coast). There are many particular reasons for my choice, which I won´t get into here, but let me say that I have not regretted it for more than an hour at a time, here and there :)
It was exactly the space and calm, and mental peace that was missing. I began my healing (not the crystal rocks and pendant swinging kind), but the broken heart and the disillusioned spirit kind.
I am healthier than ever. I have finally discovered a form of exercise that I truly enjoy - and that I can keep doing without getting bored. I have begun HIKING! Yes, in that wondrous heaven of Scandinavian pensioners filling the more than 100 golf courses along the coast, so gaily referred to now as "The Costa del Golf", by some ingenious marketing team. Despite the obvious influx of tourists during the summer season, and the noticeable "mañana" mentality so readily displayed by the locals and many expats too, I found a place. For a while at least.
Why on earth...? Well, because its beautiful! Breath taking in fact. Free (in the liberated people kind, not the monetary sense). And the food is amazing!
I no longer work within the field that I am so extensively schooled. I doubt I ever will again, at least not in the capacity of my previous jobs. But who knows? Life goes on. And I have finally started to chip away at the petrified shell that encased me for so many years.
I am more spiritual. I get up early, of my own accord, and bring my morning latte on to the beach when I'm in spain, and to the nearest window when I'm in colder climes. I hike through the mountains and valleys. I run along the boardwalk, and cuddle with my dog. (An addition to my life that I had hungered for for years!). But am I rich? - definitely not! But am I rich? Definitely YES!!
So in conclusion to this rather overwhelming introduction, I can only say: I hope you will read more of my journey in the time to come. But even if no-one reads these words, it is yet another of my self indulgent schemes to bring me not only back to the girl I once was, but far far beyond it!
Please Enjoy :)