I never thought it would go so far. And it did.
Here’s the thing. I was never this kind of personality that needs people around all the time. The truth is, I am the complete opposite. After five minutes in presence of another person, unless we are “having a blast” (=talking about some to me meaningful stuff), I get nervous, anxious and tired of interacting with other people.
I know you are now probably surprised a bit because if you read my past articles, you know that I meet and speak with loads of people on my travels – and oh, boy, I can be even friendly!
Even I don’t get this part, honestly. But meeting a friend and spending half an hour with them is the most I can do before I’m exhausted and want to just be alone again.
So it should be no surprise that when I left home, I didn’t really feel lonely, not in that way expected.
You know, I’ve always felt quite lonely, but not in the way people imagine. I can’t explain it, I don’t know if it’s even possible, but no, when I left for high school and lived in a student house, I didn’t miss my family.
Then I left the Europe completely and came to the USA to work. And I didn’t miss my family, my friends,… My loneliness wasn’t worse than usual. At least for the first nine months.
And even then, when I started to feel this strange emptiness, it wasn’t that I would miss my family or friends, anything like this.
It was just my usual loneliness, getting somewhat stronger.
Another three months went quickly past me and the only times when I could forget about that feeling of missing something was when I traveled and met new people – fellow travelers who I’m probably not going to meet any other time in my life. And I still remember them all, their faces, what they told me…
In June this year, I moved from New York to California. Oh, boy, that was exciting! Everything went great! Until today, I still love the house I live in, the family I work for, I love the area and people here. If I was going to live anywhere in the USA, I would choose this place.
My loneliness was back at its usual level, I met new friends, more great people, discovered the most beautiful places I’ve seen in my whole life so far.
And then it came. I don’t know if that was the trigger or if my strange feelings just got stronger by themselves again, but the day my sister told me that my grandpa has been taken to a hospital – and probably for the last time, that his only wish was to visit home one last time,… that was when it struck again.
But what was that feeling?
It’s not about feeling lonely only. There’s regret, there’s sadness, then comes anger… You live every day doubting your past decisions that have brought you to the point where you are, in my case so far from home that you are not able to go back.
Because of my visa, I mustn’t leave the USA or they wouldn’t let me back. If I don’t get back, finish my working year and therefore don’t complete my visa, plus don’t pay enough taxes, they won’t let me back in if I wanted to enter again in the future. What more, I feel like leaving would be just like betraying my family here.
But why am I telling you this?
Because I want you yo learn something.
Even though there are nights and days when I regret every single decision I’ve made, I know that these are not relevant. They go away, eventually. And then, when I can think clearly, I can see that what I’m doing is the best I can. Exploring the world equals exploring myself.
I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I have stayed at home. I wouldn’t be so courageous. I wouldn’t speak up for myself as I can now. I wouldn’t know what I really want. Not that I know now, but I can feel I’m closer than a year and a half before.
I can feel how I learn every single day of my life. I can feel how I develop as the time passes. And I know – as well as people who know me the best – that this is what I need, that this is what is the right thing to do.
The right things to do aren’t always the easiest ones. But it’s worth struggling. Being on the right path does get lonely sometimes. And that’s all right.
I want you to know that wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, as long as you feel it’s the right thing to do and the right place to be, you must keep going. You mustn’t give up however hard the things might be.
Being something over nine thousand kilometers from home and knowing I might not see my grandpa alive ever again is… difficult. He is the man who taught me how to shoot, how to milk a goat, cut the grass with a scythe. The man who I was collecting eggs with and feeding our hens and geese, who I was looking for newborn kitties with and whom I was stealing dried-out bread for rabbits from. The man who gave me a hug after a stranger brought me home after I had a car accident and my parents weren’t around and my grandma just lost it and screamed.
There are so many things in the world that will try to stop you from doing what you feel is right. The right path to go is a rough one – but it’s worth being on. Stumbling over all the rocks but getting up again.
Please, keep going, carry on, be strong.
I feel like I need somebody to tell me this. Maybe this is what good friends are for. Mine are far away, sleeping as I write this, unable to give me a hug that I need so desperately right now. As for now, I’ll endure, ride out through the night and write these words to remind myself why I am doing this – and hopefully, help some of you to stay on the path you chose, the path you are supposed to be on.
Stay strong, my friends, whatever is happening. And believe in yourself. You’ll go a long way. I believe in you and your dreams.
Outlast all the trouble, fight all the obstacles, get creative.
See you soon.