Living abroad is hard. Living abroad without a job is really hard. Living abroad, without a job, and without knowing the language is even harder. BUT (and it is a big but) it is worth it. I think that a lot of the time we fantasize about living another life. I remember when I was a child and I was at my babysitter's house who I loved dearly. For whatever reason one day, I got upset and wanted to go home so my mom came and picked me up and as requested, took me home. Once I was home, I started crying. I came whining to my mom that I wanted to go back to my babysitter's house. Please!! Please I want to go back! Wisely, she said no. I asked to come home so I came home. I cannot go back and forth just on a whim!
I have no idea how old I was when that happened - maybe 5 or 6? That event has always stuck with me though. It is a feeling that I have actually struggled with ever since as well. I want to see what it is like so badly somewhere else, I want to go, leave, arrive somewhere else! But when I get there, I realize that the feeling I had was not about the physical place where I was but about the mental and emotional space I was in. That emotional tug of dissatisfaction, of fear that there is something else that I am missing, is something that has always driven me and that continues to drive me.
I take this as a positive and a negative attribute of my personality. The positive side is that I have developed a fearlessness that allows me to say, move to Sweden! Before leaving the states, people would say that I was brave, and say they could never do something like moving to another country. I don't feel brave and I don't think that I am. Fearlessness and braveness are two very different things. You have to actually feel afraid to then be brave. Since I have had the good fortune to live abroad in the past, I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew that there would be moments of excitement, a spark of awe in exploring a new place, surges of frustration, stretches of boredom, and everything in between. But those are not really things that I feared. I knew they would be there and I let them be there because they are all part of the process. I also know that eventually I will settle in, get a job, learn the language, and life abroad will just be...life. So this leads me to the negative side that this emotional ping of dissatisfaction brings up in my personality. As soon as I get settled in a place, I want to leave. I moved to New York City, one of the most action-packed cities in the world, and after years of the daily commute on the 6 train I was tired of New York. I was anxious to move and to get on with another chapter in my life. This scares me, and for obvious reasons I think. I thrive off of the challenge and the extremeness of moving to a new place, starting a new job, learning a new skill and I get bored quickly when the dust settles.
So, as I am sure some of you can guess, this brings me back to my yoga practice. I haven't gotten bored of yoga. Not even a little bit. Yoga does two things for me really, it gives me some consistency when I am almost constantly throwing myself into an inconsistent life and it gives me the opportunity to feel grounded and grateful for all that I have. When I am feeling melancholy, yoga gives the push to my psyche that I need to get over that hump. When I am feeling anxious and out of my element, my yoga mat is my home.
As I grow in my yoga practice, I am able to bring what I learn on the mat into my life more and more. I have a wonderful relationship with an amazing man, I am living in a beautiful city, and I am pursuing a dream career as a yoga teacher. I have a loving and beautiful family, I am healthy, and I have the coolest dog in the world. My yoga helps me to realize this, give thanks for it, and be content in all of it.