You haven´t migrated? You are missing out!
Photo: My new favourite spot, somehwere in Victoria.
My friend, you are missing out on a superpower: resilience. Migrating has really made me resilent to dificulties but has also made more empathic. But thats not all.
I learnt to live entirely on the present. A few years ago, I backpacked for a few months without too much of a plan. Travelling this way taught me to decide what I wanted to do on the spot, so when I moved to Australia (without planning it either) it suddenly started to feel like my life was completely uncertain with every step of the way. Migrating and not knowing how long you will stay, not knowing how much you should invest in a life because you can be moving away again, made me live entirely on the present. Learning to live on a day by day basis has taught me to relieve some anxiety normal life brings with it. It taught me that I can´t worry much more for an uncertain future, and it taught me to accept the limbo my life was. Yes, I stress about my future, and yes, it’s very annoying not having a proper plan every month or every year and not being able to explain where I will be living and what will I be doing next year, but gratefully it made me appreciate the Here and Now. Because my life has been depending on what I do on the present, without being able to think of my future, I have been more conscious of enjoying the present and focusing on what I can do in this exact moment.
Appreciating the Here and Now also has taught me what is happiness -for me-. Since I don´t know how long I´ll be in a place surrounded by the people I´ve met there, I’ve become conscious of the little things where I find joy in life, and what makes me happy. Joy and Happiness are not the same thing.
So, I’ve learnt to stop focusing on people and situations that will not add to my life and joy. I´ve become a bit more assertive and intuitive; although I still sometimes invest in the wrong things or the wrong people, I have developed my sense of energy-investing a bit more. It might sound egoistic but the truth is, my stay here might end tomorrow so I want to enjoy it with the right company in a great way.
My sense of appreciation changed. I appreciate the little ordinary, everyday things that bring joy into my life, things that keep me in the present. For example, a sunrise or a sunset, the local flora, a random person smiling at you when you cross paths... I'm greatful that today I get to live this delightful city and tomorrow I´ll be doing the same sighting at some other landscapes. I appreciate time and space more because of my lack of future plans, and because I need to rely only on myself to make it right, the feeling of making my life ‘day by day’ gives me a certain feeling of power and confidence in myself that makes me happy.
If you migrated or if you are travelling the world is because you were in a place that wasn´t giving you what you wanted -maybe it was stability, maybe a chance to make a life- or for whatever reason it was that made you pack your bags and go, you took a chance on the unfamiliar, you took a chance on yourself. You left your comfort zone in search of a challenge that would defy you in every way. That would make you stand on your own two feet and make you think how to make it work.
I´ve learnt that I can make it work. Even if it meant washing cars at 4 am, even if it meant years of weird shifts that did not acknowledge my degrees and certifications, even if I ended up doing something for a couple of years that I thought it would be boring. I can make it work. I learnt to appreciate my milestones and my motivation, I have also learn to tolerate frustration (which has been character building, a very important life skill!).
I´ve learnt that I am strong. That no matter what life puts me through, I go through it. I can rely on myself, I can trust myself. But mostly, that my adaptation skill, my resilience is my superpower.
I´ve always been empathic, but migrating has widen my empathy and has taught me how I value respect. The feeling of vulnerability when you migrate taught me when and why to stand up for myself. Coming from an extremly polite nationality, I´ve learnt how important is also to set limits and respect yourself, to say 'no' when you feel you are being exploited because of my migratory status.
I´ve learnt that my life now comes with two perspectives. I adapted quite easy into the new country, but that doesn´t mean that I´ve left behind my cultural background. My daily life comes in two languages, and so, my perspectives can understand two different viewpoints of life, which has made me more culturally aware.
And finally, I’ve learnt that I can´t be mediocre knowing what I can do now. I´ve learned that I´m richer because of the culture that I have in this new country, and that that richness comes with the responsibility to keep being myself with my two different perspectives and my two different lenaguages.