One of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself is time—taking time to be more fully present (Oprah Winfrey)
I am used to listening to this quote every day in Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations, which I highly recommend. Even though I have always agreed, I have never allowed me to have a time for myself. Of course, I have free time and holidays, but I always used them to have fun (entertainment), be with my friends or family. So, I truly never used my time to do ‘nothing’ other than feel my own self.
In June, the family I work for came to me and said that they would not need me until September. In the beginning was fine because I had got another short-term job, which lasted six weeks and I also had planned a trip to France for two weeks. Nevertheless, I end up having two extra weeks before my traveling and, because of Covid-19, one more week for quarantine. This has meant less work, less pay.
In this period, I also had my IELTS exam. I was applying for the master’s and I needed to get a good score. My Visa would expire in September, so also had to renew my English course. So, those weeks drove me crazy. I felt anxious about everything: my life here, my job, my holidays, and my future, what would be of me… I was so stressed that I advanced my flight to France in one week, as I was not working, I preferred to stay there and enjoy the proper summer. It was the best thing I did.
In France (apart from some incidents that I am going to write in another article), everything was perfect. Good weather, delicious food, nice people, free time, no lockdown at all, simply awesome! And there I had time to relax and enjoy, that was all I could do at that moment, so I did.
There, I received my exams results and I cried as my scores were not as satisfactory as I expected. I had the feeling of failure. I cried a lot because it showed me that I was in the “wrong way”. I got a bad score in the Listening part (the same I had got when I was in Brazil) which frustrated me so much. However, my behavior could not only be due the scores; I suspected there was much more behind. So, I started to rethink about everything that has happened to me, but this time, with no pressure.
Listen to your heart
When I came back from France, I finally started to meditate. I decided that I would be quiet and listen to what would come from inside. I gave up on having control and I surrender my concerns to God. I have this belief that no matter what happens, it is for the good. Then, I knew that everything would be simply fine.
In some way, I took this year off. I wanted to have time for me, without being under pressure or any stress. I created some excuses so I could do it without feeling guilt, like improve my English for IELTS, do my Master’s in Cinema, change my career… the truth is that I could have done it all in Brazil. So, what is the truth in behind my travel to Ireland?
As I have already said previously here, Ireland was the best cost-benefit option to me. I wanted to leave Brazil because I did not see myself living the same life I was living (see this article here). I was dissatisfied and I did not know why. I just wanted to run away. Then, I saw a light here, a place I could improve my English, work in a different field, and try a scholarship for a master’s in Cinema (as you already know). What I had not yet realized was that I have been pressuring me to achieve new goals as if my life depended on it. It is always about achievement, achievement, and more achievements. Couldn’t I just live?
When I got here, I started to feel this pressure to achieve new goals I proposed to me. I was pushing me so hard that I did not allow me to enjoy the process through it. I suffered a lot from anxiety, doubts, and fear of not reach what I came to get it. It took me all these months to understand that is not the result that matters, but the process, the way through it.
Everything happens for a greater good, even bad things!
This year has been challenging and tricky for everyone. We have been “forced” to stop and have a fresh look at some points in our lives that need changes. Also, we have learned cut loose of control; we cannot control anything. Which is good in my opinion. You can read more about it in this article.
Since I was a child, I had many dreams and a deep desire to be relevant in society. I wanted to be someone respected, recognized and admired. So, everything I did was in this purpose. Every choice I made (aware or not) was to achieve what I thought was important and I created a pattern to please others with my actions. Studying and working hard, behaving properly, being serious, clever, perfect. These should be the elements of my reputation.
Funny enough, as I had to pause my projects, I reflected a lot about them and (guess what?) I came to all these conclusions. I discovered that what I really needed was time. Time to be only with me. Time to live, feel and learn how to be with myself. Time that I did not have to please others. Time to face my fears and “traumas”. I needed time to rediscover what I like, to experiment something new, to allow me to be just who I am, without a specific “goal” behind.
“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you cannot make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you will never get back. Your time is your life” (Rick Warren).
With all these reflections, I discovered that my purpose in life is not to become a filmmaker or a writer. My purpose is not related to my professional goals. My truly purpose here is to develop myself and become the best person I can be. My profession will be an expression of what I am and will be aligned with my purpose. Now I know that it is my job to oversee every area of my life and not the opposite. After all, I am not here to be good. I am here to be better.