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Leaving behind my family and friends. Letting go of the guilt that I would be abandoning them was the hardest thing I had to do. Some of my friends couldn’t understand how I could just leave everything, including our friendship and all the good times we shared together for an adventure. They tried persuading me that I could follow my passion and do all my writing without going away. I was constantly being asked, how bad could things be? What if it doesn’t work out? They reassured me that I would have all their support if I stayed.
At first, I actually had second thoughts. I was blessed to have friends who cared about me with my best interest at heart. How could I leave them behind, go to another country where I did not know anyone?
I gathered my thoughts and approached the situation from a different perspective. People who would never imagine themselves leaving to a foreign country, could not understand my decision. Their reaction was completely normal, a reflection of their fear of letting go and not one that was personal to me. This would just be another challenge I would have to overcome.
The most difficult challenge was letting go of my family. I have been a big part of my nieces’ and nephews’ lives. They expressed how much they would miss not having me around for all the birthdays, holidays and listening to their stories. Hearing this send the worst stabbing pain in my heart I have ever known. I wanted to watch them grow and guide them through all their experiences.
I was holding on to past memories of my family and friends. Leaving did not mean the end of my relationship with them. It would mean the beginning of a new life. The best gift I could give to them was leaving. I would be setting an example, be a mentor in following their dreams. They would learn through all my experiences, be inspired to face challenges.
Being able to leave my family and friends would only make me stronger, staying and holding on to them would reinforce not to pursue all you can be. In becoming stronger, I would offer them a lot more than I could ever imagine.
I am sure most of you have travelled by plane. Have you noticed that when the emergency guidelines are given, we are asked to first place the oxygen mask on ourselves and then to any children or people who need help? Makes perfect sense! How can you take care of others if you do not take care of yourself first? It is important to make time for ourselves, it will enrich us. We will become a better person towards those we love and care about.
I was not abandoning my family and friends, they will always be a part of me. I will get to share a whole new me with them. That was so exciting. Years from now, I want to be someone who taught them lessons through the knowledge I will gain on this journey. The thought that one day they would look at me and see someone with a build up of regrets and bitterness was scary. Especially from my nieces and nephews, they will grow up, have a life of their own. They will face many hurdles along the way. I will set an example for them to believe in themselves, all the falls and mistakes are just part of learning. We should never be afraid to continuously want to learn, it means we accept that there is so much we don’t know. We will leave our own personal trail, instead of always taking the same road for fear of getting lost. Others will want to follow our trail, to eventually be able to leave a trail of their own.
By explaining that my decision had nothing to do with getting away from them, and being opened about everything I was in search of, they were now excited for me and encouraged me. I reassured them that I would come back to visit. Our time together would be special, we would share our experiences and learn from each other. They saw it as an opportunity to visit me on their next vacation. If everyone actually follows through, I will have quite a few visitors.
It is now five days since I arrived in Buenos Aires. I have made two new friends from the same building of my apartment. It was easy, one speaks french and the other speaks english… My plan is to increase my network with new friends. I have to learn the language first. I have signed up for courses starting next week, it will be interesting!
Have you ever put off doing something you really wanted to do because you felt guilty over how your family and friends would react? What would happen if you did it? Wouldn’t your family and friends want you to be happy? I would love to hear more about this from you, I still think about my family and friends. Leave your thoughts in the comment box.