So why did I decide to take the plunge? If someone had told me in the beginning of 2017 where I would be in 5 months I would have called ”bullshit!”
In January I got accepted to a chronic pain rehabilitation program that would start in April. This program would require me to be take 2 whole days off work every week for 9 weeks. It was also getting closer to that time where we were supposed to renew my contract with my employer.
I had now been a full-time employee for almost 1,5 years since graduating Hyper Island. I was completely stressed out and my chronic pain was worse than ever. I was a mess, a nervous wreck, and I couldn’t handle the smallest bit of pressure. I had gained a lot of weight only in fluids due to my high cortisol levels (aka stress hormones). I was very unhappy. Working to make money and every day was torture. My mindset was “pain now, vacation later. I’ll go on a great vacation in the summer. Then it will all be worth it.” That is what I have felt at all my jobs.
I am not saying that it was my employers’ fault that I was a wreck. I think that my body, with my illness, isn’t cut out to work 9 hours a day AND commute 2 hours a day. For 1,5 years my life had all been about “work, eat, sleep, repeat” and I had no time or energy for family, friends, social life or my hobbies. THAT is what made me so depressed.
When I got accepted to this rehabilitation program I just really felt that I couldn’t work like this anymore. If I were to be on sick-leave 2 whole days a week, I knew I would become even more stressed when I would have even less time to do my job, to get what I needed to get done in the weeks done.
I also felt that I would waste my opportunity at this great rehab program if I wouldn’t be able to give it my full attention and devotion. It would have been impossible.
Also; in January I had a boyfriend who I had been with for 5 years and we lived together in a stunning apartment south of Stockholm with a beautiful dog. He knew I was miserable with working full-time and that I had been dreaming about trying out freelancing for a long time. When it got to that time to renew my contract he encouraged me to finally take the plunge. I was worried about our finances, mostly because our rent was very high, but he argued that he made enough money for us to live on if and when things were going slow. So I did it. I told my employer I wished to not extend my contract and I was going to freelance while doing pain rehab.
Then 2 days before my last day at work my world fell apart and I had to break up with my boyfriend. I was devastated and terrified how I would make ends meet financially. I quickly realized that I couldn’t afford the high rent as a new freelancer so I moved back with my mom and brother and let my now ex rent the apartment on his own. He now lives there and pays the full rent.
At first I wasn’t too happy about having to move back home, but I really couldn’t see any other way and I have to say that their support has helped me SO MUCH in not getting completely devoured by grief, fear and depression. And not really having to worry too much about finances in the middle of this period of grief has meant the world. I couldn’t have handled that stress too on top of it all.
I really couldn’t have done it without my family. They have been sitting my dog while I have been working and they have really been there for me. I will be forever grateful to them for the last few months.
In April I also got an extra job at one of Sweden’s biggest TV networks (TV4), so it feels great to at least have some secure money.
So now I work extra at TV4, freelance and spend as little money as I possibly can since I am saving money for my future travels. I am working on making my work life as digital as possible so that I will be able to work remotely and therefor travel as much as possible.
Things are looking up. I am no longer grieving my “failed” relationship, I am actually grateful that I have “gotten out of it”. It has given me the opportunity to do what I have always wanted to do. If we would have stayed together, started a family and spend the rest of our lives together, as we planned, I know that I would grow old, bitter, resentful and regretful for giving up my dream for a relationship that wasn’t even meant to be. He had no wanderlust whatsoever and never wanted to leave Sweden, and I had put my wanderlust aside for him and our relationship (he didn’t ask me to do that though, I decided that all on my own).
The life choices that I am making now, I know that I will never regret them later in life. If it all goes to hell – like if I am not able to make enough money to live and travel – then at least I tried and I got to experience SOME traveling. At least I followed my dreams, I didn’t settle for less than great and I followed my own path. This is what I am supposed to do. I have realized that I wasn’t supposed to meet the love of my life immediately after highschool, get a degree, an okay career, get married, have kids, have grandkids and die. I have seen it as inevitable because ”that’s what you do in life, that is what people do”. But no! It is not for me, at least not right now. I need to travel more. I want to see the world and now is the time. I am never going to get a better timing than this. I am 25 years old, my body isn’t my best friend and I have no idea how my illness will progress with age. I have to do this now while I still can, if I am too sick in the future.
I have now leapt off the cliff and I am flying alright at the moment, but soon I will fly high above the clouds like a majestic phoenix.
Okay, holy shit. Stuff is getting way to cheesy right now. Fuck it. Deal with it. You know what I am trying to say.