11 months. New country. New culture. New life.
Living abroad is NOT all sunshine and rainbows, but things shifted for me when I started embracing it all—the cultural differences, daily challenges, and the messiness. It was here that I experienced a liberation and empowerment that made me feel so connected and alive. I feel like Madrid broke me wide open…almost like a caterpillar going through chrysalis. At times it wasn’t a pretty process, but it freed me and I am eternally grateful for the awakening it ignited in me. Madrid, thank you for teaching me what it means to truly live and love. You were an unexpected blessing in my life and I will forever treasure my time spent here and the amazing people and experiences along the way.
I think the biggest pearls of wisdom living in Madrid/Europe taught me was how to walk through fire, take things one step at a time, and trust Life. When you learn to embrace the discomfort, messiness, unknown, differences, changes, impermanence, etc. in life, something beautiful happens. A lot us, myself included, live our lives anticipating the future, going from one thing on our To-Do list to the next, but we can lose touch with reality and miss the beauty of the Now when we live like that. Showing up fully and doing our best in the present moment will in turn create a beautiful future and all things will fall into place if we do our part.
What I realized since living abroad is that a lot of Americans live in fear. What if this…what if that…and sometimes we’re so concerned with “safety” that we don’t let ourselves live. Yes, bad things happen and life is tough shit sometimes but living in fear is not the answer. There are always solutions and alternative options available to us. We just have to remain calm, open, and grounded enough to see those solutions that are literally right in front of us. We might not get things right the first time around, but we try and adjust.
Apply for that job. Date that person. Buy that plane ticket. Move to that city. Do all the things that scare you, because they’re worth it.