Next Friday the 12th of July, I head off on by far the craziest adventure of my life. I’m moving to Portugal on a 1 year visa and every single cell in my body is excited. Last year I did a solo trip around Europe, which I wrote about here, and it was the best thing I had ever done for myself. During the last days of that trip, I met an incredible person who I’m now very fortunate to call my partner. Yes you guessed it- a lovely Portuguese fella. I’m in love, and it takes my breathe away every time I stop and realise that I have someone like him. He’s kind, gentle and funny, he’s smart and calculated yet so aware of and sensitive to my emotional needs. I’ve never felt so comfortable around anyone the way I am with him. I’ve never met someone whose heart spoke so perfectly to mine. Perhaps most importantly, he’s taught me that love is easy, and it demands so powerfully to be felt. I wish this for everyone in the world, because nothing else quite compares.
So by now I think it’s clear, I’m moving to Portugal because he’s there and because every part of me (mind, heart and soul) is begging me to go. It’s not a decision I made lightly, but one day I just knew. He’s been living in Lisbon Portugal and I’ve been living in Sydney Australia and we’ve been doing long distance for what feels like tooooo long (14 months). I never expected my life to take this amazingly unexpected turn, but it did, and I’m grateful, and we’re rolling with it. As everyone always says, love comes knocking when you least expect it too. And as I sit here writing this, I wonder what I would’ve been doing if I hadn’t met him. Would I be following my heart’s longing and creating the life that feels aligned with my inner being? I do know that before meeting him, the solo travel trip had done something to me. It had awoken something inside of me that I never knew I had – a serious thirst for a life that felt right (not looked right). Because until then, I was living the life that I was told to live like so many of us do. Until someday, something wakes us, shakes us and we know we can never go back to how things were. We would simply be doing an injustice to ourselves and our lives.
In the lead up to leaving, I’m learning so much about myself. To understand the magnitude of this life change I think it’s important to explain to you the way that i’ve often gone through life (and still do at times). I fucking love to plan. It’s wonderful for my professional work, yet often exhausting and soul-crushing to my personal life. Plans go out the window when you’re moving your life to the other side of the world. Every part of me wants to have it all figured out BEFORE I even land, having every checkbox ticked on my list. – Visa, check. Portuguese language mastered, check. Apartment, check. Job, check. – It’s ridiculous but my mind goes here often. I’ve had to stop myself going down this vicious spiral of anxiety and overthinking about future events that don’t need to be thought about to this extent right now. For fuck sakes, you don’t have to have it all figured out and have every box ticked before you’re even there.
I know that the magic is in the uncertainty and that on the other side of the unknown are all the best things in life. I’ve seen this with my own eyes, but isn’t it funny how our mind works and just how stubborn some belief systems and attitudes can be? So I’m learning. I’m learning to let go of the need to control and have it all perfectly figured out. I’m learning to sit with the uncomfortable feelings of uncertainty and embrace the excitement and adventure of the unknown. I’m learning to choose courage over comfort, time and time again. I’m learning to accept when things don’t go as I had ‘planned’ and i’m learning to trust that everything is happening for the greater good of myself and all others. Because the world really is on my side, and it’s on your side too. Even if we don’t see that right now.
Vulnerability is a popular topic right now, and after Brene Brown’s Netflix special ‘The Call to Courage’ I feel like my social media blew up with vulnerability talk. And I fucking love it because I think we can all use some more wholehearted living and more vulnerable and honest conversations with ourselves and others. I’m sick of this superficial, shallow, ‘look how perfect my life looks on Instagram’ bullshit. This Brene Brown quote wonderfully sums up what I’m learning through this change so far:
“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome”.
No control over the outcome. Ohhhhhhhh boy. I have no control of what lay ahead of me as I dive into this new life and fuck I don’t really want it anyway. But as someone who grew up in a somewhat rocky household, I craved control and thought that without it, things would become too chaotic. I knew that if I was in control, things wouldn’t go wrong. If I was in control, mum wouldn’t drink too much and we would all get home safely after a night out. I learnt to become hypervigilant in my environment and unsurprisingly carried a lot of that hypervigilance and need to be in control, into adulthood. I won’t go into all of that now because this post is about something else. But my point is that control is so addictive and I know so many of us deal with this addiction. I think I’m on my way to becoming a recovering control addict and I could not think of a better way to change my old belief systems than by jumping into the abyss. As each day passes I feel my grip loosening, and my need to plan, organise, control and manage every little detail slowly fading. And it feels liberating.
I’ve never felt so aligned to my truth, really. I always read about those people who were travelling for long periods or moving overseas to a foreign country and doing the things that made their soul sing. I always looked at them and wished to have that kind of confidence, courage and open-mindedness. I really don’t know if I’ve got all of that, but let’s find out.
I’ll be documenting my year in Portugal here, I hope you’ll join me on this journey. And I hope that at some point, I spark something in you. Like someone once did in me.
Love, Angie x