Today marks the big six months. Six months living across the sea, away from everything familiar. I can’t believe it — pure madness. It feels like forever and yet it feels like I arrived last week. So much has changed and yet so much is still the same.
The question everyone asked me when I arrived home for Christmas — “Are you happy?” Without a doubt or a pause of hesitation, I can wholeheartedly respond with a YES. It’s a happiness I have never experienced before. It doesn’t come from immediate pleasures – it comes from hard work and physical labor. It doesn’t come from money, things or even a successful career — it comes from people, experiences and chances. With this happiness comes bad days – days when I want to cut my losses and just go home; days when I cry for the familiar, days when my lessons are lost in translation. Rather than a happiness that changes from minute to minute, holiday to holiday, this happiness is real — it’s an attitude, a state of mind. It stems from appreciation, patience and time.
It has allowed me the chance to simplify, to clear away the clutter and see what was once hidden. I am free from the constraints of time, free from a phone attached at my hip, free from the television blaring in my ear, free from the impulse to consume.
I visit. I eat. I give. I take. I dance. I stumble. And most importantly, I learn. Yes, still learning…always learning.