“That first big leap”
We all are impatient. We know the path that we want to follow, but we don’t see the mountain we have to climb to reach our destination. We are impatient and tend to give up, very often too soon.
You get your personality from birth, that's for sure. Events over the years make us respond differently to situations. Something we used to be afraid of could be something we embrace today. The road to knowledge and experience is one of trial and error. Life does not always run smoothly.
Remember I talked about ? Removing those blocks isn’t always easy, but necessary if you want to grow in life. You have to make choices. And once you made those choices, you have to stick with them. No way back. Even when you took a wrong decision and there’s some damage. There will always be some damage when removing a block. Your tower gets a tiny little more unstable, remember.
Removing the first block
I removed a numerous amount of blocks in life. My life just collapsed multiple times. But I always got to pick up the pieces and move on. That first block I removed, and that made my tower tremble, was back in August 1993. I was nineteen and stubborn as hell. My dream was to relocate and work abroad. I had applied to a numerous of job offers from travel agencies. I was invited several times for an interview - yes I was - but I always got that same feedback: “You fit perfectly fine within the company, but please try again in a few years, as for now you are too young”.
Determined to go my own way, I applied for a guiding job at Belgacom in Lessive, the Ardennes. It was 175 km from home, so that already gave me a warm feeling. It was not just a job around the corner, no, I would have to move out of the parental home. I was accepted and life couldn’t have been better, so I thought.
Convinced this was a perfect “solution in between” for me, I accepted the challenge with both hands. I bought my first car, as I had saved quite some money - by working all weekends over the last two years in a restaurant and a disco – and moved towards the Ardennes.
So I removed an important block from my base, leaving the parental home …
Soon I got to feel the consequences of my decision. I was feeling lonely. I didn’t know anybody over there, the first bakery was at 7 km from my new ‘home’. I was surrounded by forests and a few farmers in the neighbourhood in this little town.
As I now had several responsibilities, that I didn’t have in the past, I had to make some important choices. I had to pay for my small apartment, rather a room, electricity, the insurance of my car, food, … You know, just the basics in life. At the end of the month I didn’t have any money left to fill up the tank of my car. So no going home … No meeting up with friends. I was completely isolated from my trusted environment. We did not have cell phones or internet back then. I filled my evenings with writing letters to friends, writing poems and listen to music as I had no tv in my room.
Those first two months were filled with loneliness, even more as I just broke up with my boyfriend a few weeks before I had left. I caught him cheating on me.
For two months I went to bed crying my eyes out, but I never had any regrets, no. I knew that this experience would bring a huge amount of positive effects on me.
Slowly but certainly I learned how to deal with the consequences. When my salary was deposited on my account, I started with budgeting. I didn’t have the luxury to go out shopping and buying myself fancy stuff, no. I learned how to survive and especially how I could fill up my tank to get back home to my family and friends when I had a few days off. I also got to ‘polish’ my French during that year.
Got to know a lot of new people and I had one of the greatest times in life. Being so young and having your colleagues inviting you over for supper with their families. That home feeling that I had to miss, well that was offered to me on a daily basis. I was called ‘la petite’ over there.
I had lived life on my own terms
I could have given up, but that would have been unacceptable to me. I’d made a choice and I had to make the best out of it. I completed my annual contract and although I could extend my contract, I then decided to head back home. That passed year was just a huge leap and it turned out to be a perfect choice. I now knew what grown up life entailed and I survived!
When I got home after that year, it was hard to ajust back to the rules that were set. I just couldn’t get used to living by those rules again. I had lived on my own terms and I just knew that that was what I was planning on doing for the rest of my life. Freedom to make my own decisions, make my own choices in life.
Today we see a lot of young people backpacking around the world. They explore and discover the world before settling down. I can only applaud this, as they are all taking the leap.
They discover their true personality, they come to a point where they know what they want in life. They come back reborn and more determined then ever. They too seek their truth out there!
I did not relocate to the other end of the world, we did not have that option back then. But I dared to leap big and I succeeded. I chose a path and never ever had any regrets, how rough and though that choice may have made my life at that time.
© Vicky Drappier