Two years after moving to another country

It is quite rare for me to write or talk about myself. I mean, yes, we talk about our ambitions, dreams, but about ourselves we rarely talk. I sometimes find myself at work being asked by patients “I am fine, but how are you?” and I realize that I haven’t thought about that in a while.

Before I start talking nonsense trying to avoid the topic, I will get straight to the point: someone posted on my wall earlier today a picture in which I was tagged. It was a picture from exactly two years ago. I keep looking at it, at the 25-year-old blondie, with her serene look, full of hope, with no regrets, with her life packed in a big bag and a half, ready to leave. Surrounded by good wishes from the people dear to her, hugged to death by her parents, hand in hand with the one that were to become one of her best friends later on, holding tightly her one way ticket, she left. Full stop.

Two years have gone since and, even thought I don’t recognise myself in her reflection, I don’t feel different. But I definitely am.

However, in these two years I (in no particular order):

  • Moved approximately 4 times
  • Became an adult: started earning a salary, paying taxes, learned about “credit score” (though it still does not make sense to me)
  • Thought about giving up several times, but, because the tickets back were too expensive, I couldn’t afford to give up
  • Failed an exam – me, the one who always (almost) aced her exams
  • Passed three interviews
  • Refused a job, though I was begged to stay
  • Loved
  • Lost love
  • Mourned from hundreds of kilometres away, then flew the next day lost, with 2 jumpers in a rucksack to be by my mum’s side
  • After less than 6 months, I mourned again, in scrubs, in the theatre changing room, knowing that, this time, I won’t be able to fly back
  • Found role models
  • Scrubbed in theatre in the place of the resident surgeon several times
  • Saw a patient giving her last breath
  • Cried with relatives
  • Hugged a stuffed toy while falling asleep because my parents were nowhere near
  • Met amazing people #BMA #Yorkshirefamily #Salsberries #Colchestercrew #Zebrafishwardforever
  • Learnt that my limits are only temporary and easy to break
  • Found my passion: paediatric cardiology and the BMA
  • Lost myself, then found myself again, then lost myself again, then found someone else, that was still myself, but better
  • Learnt that I don’t need anyone to save me, I am the only one that can heal me
  • Became my own compass. Though it might seem like a broken compass (as I am a champion at getting lost with a map in front of me), I always arrive somewhere. They say that, because the world is a globe, the more you travel, the closer you get to home. I tend to believe that.
  • Learnt to find my own answers
  • Embraced “the hard way” as a way of life
  • Shouted in my room, just to hear my echo and not feel alone
  • Found out what “home” means
  • Managed to still pinch myself every morning, even after two years
  • Was lucky to have chosen medicine, because I haven’t felt like I worked a single day so far (though my body will definitely contradict me)
  • Held three speeches in front of many people and managed to shift all the votes in my direction
  • Successfully resuscitated someone
  • Confronted my fears
  • Learnt to live totally alone
  • Shouted my tears and feelings away from London Bridge at midnight
  • Got another 2 tattoos
  • Learnt that dreams have no limit either: what I didn’t dare to dream came true and dreams that I fought for broke to pieces. It is safer to turn them into aims
  • Started using my potential for the good of others – getting better at it day by day
  • I was told that I can’t be a foreigner (happens more and more often, yay to my English that I love so much!)

 

What I haven’t done:

  • Visited my parents more often
  • Talked to my parents more often
  • Got a car – pending
  • Started paeds – but have done some on the way, in my annual leave, paeds is like oxygen to me you know – pending
  • Rented a place – pending
  • Most importantly: I haven’t changed my mind for one second!

I must admit that freedom is an overwhelming, but a peaceful feeling. To be able to rise your scarred, but strong wings and to fly wherever you want, to leave everything behind, to have nothing apart from yourself, to be strong enough to carry other people’s pain, to be able to heal others, to be more and more selfless – I hope the girl in that picture that I was talking about earlier is proud of who I have become. Because I know that my future self is asking herself the same thing about my present self.

 

And, after it all, time does go on, no matter what. And so do we.

*changes „Oasis – Wonderwall” with „Bon Jovi – It’s my life” *

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