Today, I turn 27. And it’s not about the age. It’s NEVER been about age, but about how much you have lived through those years.
I thought today was the perfect moment to reflect on everything that has been going on in the past year, more than New Year’s resolutions (where I promise to go to the gym, and I actually never do.)
For the first time in my life, I know where I belong, I know who I am, and I know where I want to go.
My God…! Two years ago, I was a complete mess. I had just been abandoned by my ex-boyfriend (who loved me, but went on to marry someone he didn’t even know, in an Indian arranged marriage. My friends said he must not have loved me as much, but that… I’ll never know), then got kicked out of the apartment I shared with him, and the only thing I had to hold on to, my job, also failed on me when the company I worked for decided to close their offices in Mexico City.
Yes… I had nothing.
Needless to say, I fell into his deep, black hole called depression that no one heard, shared or frankly cared.
I went back to live with my mom, feeling like a failure, a disaster and an unworthy woman. Obviously, the thing that weighed the most on my head was my heart: Why didn’t he love me enough to stay? Was everything he had told me just a lie? Am I so damaged that no one will ever love me as much as I can love them? The situation became immensely worse when he called me or texted me to say “I’m sorry. I would have never wanted to put you through all of this." THEN WHY DID YOU?!
I started freelancing on tanslation and content writing jobs, because I had no actual courage to face an office environment, where you are recluded to your chores and then your thoughs; days become longer and mostly… You have to see people.
I cried, I begged, I mourned… Until I saw the abyss face to face.
Looking in a mirror, I saw what I had become. Gained several pounds, hadn’t combed my hair in forever, could not pass as a sane person to save my life, and more importantly, my eyes were opaque, dead. My light brown eyes- that are by far what I love about myself the most – were dead, sad and swollen from so many tears I’d shed.
After I had cried some more from the horrid scene I had encountered, I realized that was not who I wanted to be.
Truth be told, I had become India-obsessed. Not only because of my ex-boyfriend, but because I had always been fascinated by the complexity of Hinduism, and being a firm atheist, I had to experience myself. So I started working solely for the purpose of going to India, with no plans, and no special destination. I JUST HAD TO GO TO INDIA. Without realising, I had begun my journey to self-healing, and this was only the first step.
Of couse, fear still invaded me.
- Will I find him there? In a country of 1.3 billion people? Hardly.
- Would he still feel the same if he saw me face to face? He is a married man now, time is up.
- Is he the real reason I’m going to India? How about you stop wondering and find out?
While I figured out what I felt about my ex-boyfriend, I concentrated fully on my new found profession. It turns out, I was actually good at it, and people were hiring me to help them out.
Months went by, and my first big break came in: I was invited to participate in an interview in Kansas City, where a company was interested in hiring me, all expenses paid. I didn’t get the job, but I got to see an amazing city that I would not have set my eyes on otherwise. I was hired by a company in South Dakota to help them with media content for their upcoming website, so I had to go, take pictures, and come up with a strategy. They liked my job so much, he recommended me to a friend in Las Vegas who also flew me over to develop a new approach to customers.
Yet, I was still lost. Why wasn’t I happy, if travelling and finding my dream job was all I had ever wanted? I concluded that as much as these trips were feeding my ego, my Instagram, and my wallet, they were not feeding my soul. And to be honest, I was SICK of being sad.
I finally decided to take the plunge: I applied for a visa, packed my bags and set for the unknown.
India is an experience that everyone can survive, but not everyone can appreciate. When I first got there, I didn’t think I could handle it, until I discovered a Sikh temple.
Now, for a little historical context:
Sikhism is an Indian religion founded by Guru Nanak (1469-1539), which developed in the context of the conflict between the doctrines of Hinduism and Islam during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Followers of Sikhism are called Sikhs. It is the ninth religion in the world by number of believers.
It is an ancient religion with simplicity at its core. A Gurdwara or Gurudwara is the temple of Sikhism, and it is the place where I finally reconciled with who I was.
I was a little confused by everything people were doing, washing their feet, covering their heads with pashminas, napkins or even pieces of fabric that were handed out at the entrance… I was simply moving around numb, mimicking everyone.
Entering the Gurdwara, I didn’t really know what to do. Having being brought up catholic, I was lost in rituals with such a different religion. I sat in a corner and enjoyed the moment of silence and peace, before venturing again into crazy India.
When I stopped looking at others and watching their every move, the heart-wrenching silence finally took over me. I sat there, took a deep breath, and closed my eyes.
Talking to yourself is the most difficult thing you can ever do since you can choose to lie, even in your head, while still knowing the truth. When you start going through your own head, it’s like it starts spinning. In a second, you have memories, phrases, people, places, voices, and dreams all crammed up in there, waiting to be deciphered and re-arranged. I tried to keep up with those thoughts, curled up in a corner, while my world was spinning at a million miles per second, making me dizzy and paranoid, making my heart race faster, pressing my chest until it hurt, making me feel like it was too much to bear… Until I broke down.
I started crying again as if it was only yesterday that everything had gone to hell. Just sat there, pouring my heart out, asking myself for forgiveness for having failed so poorly, and gotten so lost along the way. I cried for what seemed hours until my eyes were dry. After I let it all out, I finally found my way.
That day, I had my mind set on popping into my ex-boyfriend’s office and looking at him, just one last time. I realised it was not worth more pain.
That night, I slept so profoundly and woke up so late, I missed my train to change cities.
I finally understood that aside from my curiosity, my obsession and my need for travel, the real reason why I needed to go to India, was to finish a cycle that I had started without even knowing, and that would help me find my way again.
It was like “Eat, Pray, Love", but all in one place: the difference was that the person I learned to love, was myself.
If you want to hear more about my trip to India, you can go here… I was there three months, There’s still A LOT to tell!
Don’t take yourself for granted
All I want to say is that it’s okay not to be okay. We all have our ups and downs, and sometimes it takes a year or two to get back up. It is not time wasted, but time invested on ourselves, that is vital to get us back up. I didn’t need therapy or anyone but myself, and as much as I understand the ones that do, my only advise is that you take a minute to talk to yourselves.
Sometimes, all it takes is a few days off. For me, it was three amazing months is which I left all my fears behind, and never looked back.
I am sure that my 27 are going to be amazing, and my next goal is right on. It will be around the corner faster than I expect.
No broken heart can take away who you are or what you have gone through, but it can challenge you to jump over the fence and finally look up at the sky, where bigger things are yet to come. No job, man/woman or place can give you the love you can give yourself. And in the end, the only person who will be there, is the one in the mirror, who will always love you and know exactly what is going on, and will wait patiently until you decide to open up.