It is overrated:-)
It has been 2 weeks since I moved to Australia on my own and for the past 2 weeks I have heard the same statement from acquaintances, friends, very close friends or even total strangers. “Wow you’re sooo brave!”
Really? Me? That guy from the pizza place on Oxford Street does not know me, but my friends?! They should know better. They should know I am still super-emotional-cryer-baby Gaëlle, shouldn’t they? It almost feels like coming to Australia made me the female equivalent of “Crocodile” Dundee. (No Sadaf honey, there was no sharks in the sea the other day, I swear I would not have jumped in it otherwise, I promise!).
I kinda became some sort of inspiring superhero for some of my friends..”Super-Aussie Gaëlle”?!…
I am a girl who loves compliment, don’t get me wrong, especially if I feel that I deserve them. As a student, I used to love having teachers write on my transcripts stuff like : ” lovely personality”,”adds value to the class debates” (yes I did!)
And of course, there is nothing wrong to the usual ” Gaëlle, you’re soooo fun, funny, smart, cute, great adviser, beautiful, sexy…” . I have even been called a “genius” 2 days ago. Alllllrrrriiigghhttt, I can take that
But brave ?? It’s almost tasteless to me..I am not even sure to know what it means anymore and I really don’t feel that it applies to me. I am not brave. I spent two hours crying over my poor lonely little self the other night!
Moving on my own in a country where I have never been before is not brave. Crazy perhaps. Somehow, I would feel much more comfortable with that word, at least, I would not feel like an impostor.
Moving to English speaking countries in the hope of a better, brighter future is what I do, it’s part of who I am I guess. I go to countries where sayings such as “the sky is the limit”, “the world is your oyster” make sense. I am not brave. I did what starts to feel natural to me. I was not happy and fufilled with my life in Paris. At some point, I just stopped thinking and jumped… again.
When you move abroad, especially when you are what it is now called a “self-made expat”, you are starting completely over: job, career, friends, social network, housing… you’ve got nothing. It’s tough! I have not forgotten those times in the US when I was eating these chinese noodles (79 cents/cup) in my hostel room to save money (It’s ok, I was not Cosette either, don’t cry) or, when I went for a long walk by the Embarcadero in SF to drop a few tears because it was Christmas Eve and, I was all alone far from the people I love the most. (THAT, on the other hand was really sad, feel free to drop a tear;-))
The thing is, when you stay in that new country and fight long enough to turn things around and make things happen, these “sad” little details do not make you (me) cry anymore, sometimes, when you look back, they can actually even make you laugh! They are part of your success story. You feel that you have come a long way and that if you did it once, you can do it all over again. The fear of leaving a country for another one slowly disappears as another feeling makes its way to your brain and heart….: Excitement! Excitement is a powerful driver that can make you fly and achieve great things.
So yes, I had been crying like a baby, and that will probably happen again in a few days, as my emotions are also part of who I am, and trust me I always feel better after a few tears, you should try that too!
However, I also know that right now I am writing the first pages of this new chapter of my life – the Australian chapter – and like all the others , that is going to be an amazing story! So, of course, it has to start the tough way, don’t you watch Hollywood movies?! .Well, besides Hollywood movies, my experience about life overseas, my gut feelings and my determination to have fun and be happy are also telling me that everything is going to be fine.
Yes, that’s right, I only rely on my determination, gut feelings and some vague previous experiences abroad to know that I will be alright. See, I am not brave, I am just a spontanous crazy dreamer who made the choice to make her dreams come true.