This year is almost gone, and I have seen many people glad for it, having considered this year awful in many ways. However, some are looking for the good and being grateful for the lessons and opportunities that came out from the crises. To some extent, we are all hopeful for the next year to be a better one.
2020 came to shake and destabilize our bases. We understood that we do not have much control over our plans or how things will happen. Everyone was impacted differently through this pandemic, but we all had to review many things in our lives.
For me, it would already be a different year for the decisions I had made to change my career, and my life, by living in another country, diverse culture and language, new people, and new situations to experience. I already had in mind that it would be a challenge that would help me to grow. I had many goals and dreams for this year, and I had planned to achieve them simple and focused.
I must confess this year has not been the easiest one; nevertheless, I have got to the conclusion that it has been the most powerful in terms of self-knowledge and self-development. I consider I became another person throughout so many lessons and experiences I have had.
Reviewing plans and shifting the focus
Living alone in a new country, far from family and friends, is already complicated for many people. Let alone living all of this in isolation most of the time, in contact only with yourself. It could be a nightmare. In my case, it was a gift! Yes, that is what you just read. This experience has been a great blessing in my life, and I will explain why.
As many of you who has been read me in this blog already know, I had a precise plan when I moved from Brazil to Ireland: to improve my English to get a good grade in IELTS, and get a scholarship to study Cinema abroad. Simple, right? Not exactly. Firstly, I had no guarantee that this plan could work quickly; secondly, because it limits other possibilities and learnings.
When I arrived in Ireland, I came across the same Raquel I wanted to leave behind: An insecure woman, seeking validation and approval from others, trying to prove her ability and intelligence, who knows things and has everything under control. Besides, here I had the closest contact with a part of me that felt superior, though she was better, and knew more than the others. Thanks to the isolation, I was able to have more intimate contact with my fears, traumas and memories kept in my subconscious until then; I could review so much about myself that just that alone was worth the whole experience.
Furthermore, by getting an IELTS score lower than I was expecting, I could see how much I was repeating the same old pattern that I always set myself: to succeed in everything; to reach all the goals. I concluded that I was pushing myself as if my life purpose was to acquire positions, to be well evaluated, and so on. I am delighted I have not been this time!
I am my purpose
From the middle of the year until now, I reviewed all my plans and goals. I wondered if they were truly a wish of mine, from my heart, or if I was doing it to receive, again, approval and appreciation from the people around me. I had to assess whether they really make sense for my life, or if they are only my ego’s whim for me to feel relevant and admired.
In this internal reflection process, I understood that my real mission here is to improve who I am. It means to become a better, more conscious, present, and authentic human being. My main goal is to evolve my true self; that is, my soul. It is to be, not just to do or to have. With the help of a friend, I could also understand that the most important thing is the process, the lessons we acquire along the way. The result will be a consequence of what we learn and who we become throughout them. Last but not least, how my life impacts people’s lives around me.
For all these reasons, 2020 was a year of great transformation in every sense, of reconnecting with my true self. It has been a year of great discoveries and blessings. Yes, I feel immensely blessed and grateful to be here, living all these experiences at the right time, learning, and growing through love.
Some things remain the same
Many of my plans still make sense, and I am on track to achieve them. I did not give up on anything to tell you the truth. I continue to study and improve my English, no longer for the test, but to communicate better and better in this language. I am applying to study Cinema because it is a way to tell stories, express my ideas, and work with people. Nevertheless, without haste, pressure, or perfectionism, accepting and integrating each experience as part of my story.
Thanks very much, 2020. May 2021 surprises us beautifully!