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I love it how well I know myself now. I feel in charge.

I’m far away from the place where I was born and grew up. It’s been 10 years since I moved to Ireland and started creating my new life here. For a long time, for years, I was trying to figure out a way to feel at home and finally get rid of the feeling of being in a transition phase.


I was searching, analyzing and rebuilding the way I live, what I pay attention to, what gives me energy, and what contributes to feeling low and sad.

At some point I realized few very important things that have been influencing me a lot, and now, knowing them I am much more thoughtful and precise in my actions.


The things I noticed are:


Personal drama


I hate drama, surprises and uncertainty. In my life I went through many changes, some of them really big, like changing my whole life and moving to a new job in a different country. I moved houses multiple times, changed jobs, and there were some ups and downs in my personal life. Because the changes require a lot of planning, adjusting, and going for the unknown and uncomfortable, I feel that I need to protect my energy, and spend it on what is really important, myself included. It’s like the financial security – the knowledge that I have a buffer in case something happens gives me the feeling of being more secure, and the freedom to choose. If I maintain my energy well, and don’t spend it on unnecessary drama, I can use it to build what I want in life. I know and accept the fact that I can’t control the events that happen around me, but I can decide how I approach them, what I allow into my life and what I avoid because I know it won’t serve me well.


Purpose

I’m purpose and justice driven. Even the thought of spending my time on empty conversations, tasks just for doing’s sake, using days to work on something I don’t care about makes me feel uneasy. And I have this deep desire to do good, to help. I see so many suffer, and I know I have a lot that I can use to help.

I now deeply analyze what I focus on and choose more wisely. I decrease the empty stuff, and invest in the meaningful instead – people I care about, job I want to have, things that make me feel good and energized. I manage to free myself from many “shoulds” and “musts”, learn to not follow some trends that I know are not aligned with who I am, and feel less obligated to be who I though I should be. I’m now working towards who I want to be, to make it sustainable. I know clearly what I care about. I found and defined my purpose and this led to a clear vision of what to focus on, and what to do.


And the cherry on the cake:

Awareness of how I perceive the world and how I capture the good moments


Rattan chair on the balcony facing the view on flowers in pots and blue sky. Relaxing atmosphere
It was the acceptance that I need time to experience and process that changed a lot in my life

This was one of the biggest discoveries of myself. The realization how my perception and senses work, and what really contributes to the “feeling good” in my case.


For a long time I didn’t feel at home, despite the attempts to build the environment I loved, decorating the house, connecting with the right people etc. I was missing my past life a lot, and going back to happy memories was making me at the same time happy and miserable. Because it was the past, and the present didn’t feel this way.


I set a goal for myself to figure it out – how to start feeling and enjoying my life now. How to start feeling alive and not look back so much. Not miss the past so much.


I’m emotional but at the same time highly analytical. I used it to go deep, observe, capture and analyze my observations. And I noticed that I wasn’t using my senses the right way. Hah! This was the missing piece. Sounds trivial, but in my case it’s true.


My brain is probably missing some basic connections because I have troubles with remembering faces and names, my sense of direction is almost non-exiting, and even if I can navigate and get things done in a crowded, fast-paced environment it cost me a lot of energy and when I look back, there is almost only a blur. I don’t create lasting memories.


At the same time my senses are almost constantly in hyper mode. And here comes the most important realization.

When I create the space and time for me to let what I hear, see, smell, taste and touch to sink in, I feel alive. I feel part of the world around me, I’m present, and I create strong, colorful, multidimensional memories.


That’s why I now make conscious decisions about the way I organize my time. I know that, even if so popular and potentially exciting for many, organized group holidays, by bus or cruise ships, are not for me. I prefer my own speed. I don’t enjoy following the “must see” rush. When I visited Louvre, I was alone. I felt wonderful just briefly taking a look at Mona Lisa, and then slowly moving to other paintings, analyzing the brush strokes, use of colors, sitting and sketching sculptures and old vases… And now, when I think about it, I don’t recall the stress and frustration that following loud, smelly crowd would cause, but the beautiful moments of connecting with the art. Even when I write about it now, I automatically take a deep breath, recalling the dusty, sweet aroma of the rooms, the angle the sun touched the beautiful wooden floors, and how fresh the air was when I left the building after few hours.


That’s also why I have so many memories from my childhood, and had only so few from the few years back. Because I rushed. With all the responsibilities and challenges of my adult life, the way I approached them, I didn’t have space for being myself. I didn’t give myself the chance. I didn’t know…


When I look back, many years are just like that. A blur. There were good times, even beautiful times, but I was too much in a rush, too much occupied by the next thing that needs to be done to have enough time to let the moments sink in. I regret it today. But I didn’t know. It makes me sad.



But now I know. So, I take my time. And I love to focus. On my job, on the people in front of me, listening to their stories and having the opportunity to get to know them, and on all the aspects of my personal life. I take the time to observe the plants in my garden grow little bit more every day. I allow myself to feel joy in the process of creating something beautiful. I cook and bake, enjoying the textures, the taste, and the aromas.


I enjoy the writing process, the thoughts that form in my head, the fact that my curiosity grows and motivates me to dig deeper, know more. And I love my dusty pink keyboard and mouse I’m using now, and the gentle, satisfying sounds they make.


It all creates and anchors my memories. I feel that I am alive. It’s the small things that I know and accept about myself that made the difference. It’s the slow, small, beautiful experiences that soothe and energize me. I know it now. And it makes me feel calm and just purely happy.


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