I’m at work. I teach English to Chinese kids, not the stereotypical ones…lets just say that they’re a little on the “molasses on a winter’s day” side. One of them told me to top wearing lipstick at work because it scared them. I laughed and carried on as if his broken English didn’t even enter my ears. Yes, I know that was mean but let’s be honest, we all lose our patience at one point, I’m just, well, brave enough to vocalize it.
So, I’m sitting here, watching them do their work in a four walled, windowless, light dim blue painted walls with a rusty sink and a white (dirty) Ikea table and I’m thinking to myself, “What the FUCK am I doing with my life?”. I’m 26 years old, I work like a horse teaching these kids English and I also work at a coffee shop, my bosses have trouble paying me on time and paying me what they owe, my boss is fucking (literally) the other employee and little miss perfect could get away with murder if she wanted too, I can hardly get a “thanks Anik for your hard work” out of either of them and, well…I just want to bash my head against the wall and hope that my salvation will come soon.
Actually, my salvation is coming.
On January 1st, 2018, I woke up with a whole new attitude. I wanted to erase my old life and begin a new one. I needed passion, I needed excitement and most importantly, I needed to get out of Montreal. I needed to find love, I needed to find something new, something overwhelmingly wonderful to fulfill my boring life and the monotonous routine of wakeup-eat-metro-work 14 hours-metro-sleep. I needed to escape.
So, I turned to Google.
I researched where to travel in the world, Europe, Asia…blah blah blah. I then had the amazing idea of applying to do a second Master’s in Portugal! WOW! Now THAT would be an amazing event to happen in my life. That would change everything, I would be able to live in Portugal, a country that I deeply fell in love with. I would be able to eat copious amounts of Bacalhau and best of all, I would be able to escape the fucking ice, snow and the countless days at -30 degrees (oh, and the dark, sunless days that go on for months and months).
Extremely excited, I began to get all the paperwork in order and when came the time to apply for financial aid, I got denied due to already high amounts of loans, because the government doesn’t want you to be TOO educated, you know (eye roll)…
I felt defeated.
. I wanted to give up and thought that I would never have a chance at a happy life. But, something told me not to give up so easily. So, I began applying for jobs in Lisbon, a lot of jobs and, since the economy in Portugal is not the greatest, they do not had out work visas to just anybody.
Again, I felt defeated.
Now, at this point, I wanted to give up for real. But, again, something told me not to give up but perhaps change my plan because if something isn’t working maybe I need to change my plan a little bit without giving up everything, just a little tweak and perhaps I would be set on the right path.
I sat and wondered what in the world I could do. I knew I needed out of Montreal. I knew going back to Toronto wouldn’t make me happy and going back to Edmundston, well, let’s not even go there. I cried for many nights wondering how the heck I would get myself out of this boring life I was living.
I began selling all my belongings. All my books, my clothes, furniture, trinkets, you name it I was selling it. I did not know where I would go, or what I would do but I knew that I was leaving. And, in the process of selling my things, I bought myself two big suitcases, just enough space to carry all the most important things to me. I bought myself a new backpack, new shoes and makeup with the intention that I would leave but, again, I had no destination in mind.
I would sit at night and ponder upon the many cities I would love to live in, explore and devour their secrets and mysteries. Florence, maybe even Copenhagen or perhaps Greece! I would obsessively look at the map of the world and think about the right place for me to visit, and then, one evening upon talking with a friend, it hit me, I WILL MOVE TO SPAIN! How could I move to Spain? I would apply for a work/holiday visa!
In that moment it seemed as though I had all my life figured out.
I got all my documents in order, spent a ton of money on flights and visa application fees, doctors notes and Airbnbs, luggages, the whole nine yards and, I nervously sent everything in, hoping for the best. On the consulate’s website, they tell you that you should get a response for the visa within three weeks which, I thought was a very short amount of time but nonetheless, you don’t fuck with the government so, I trusted it.
Dropped my express post envelopes at the post office and the three week countdown began…
About a week after sending my paper work, my wonderful mother calls me while I am working (keep in mind that my happiness and the rest of my life depends on this visa) and proceeds to tell me that she has received my passport from the consulate…the anticipation was killing me at this point. I excitedly ask her if I got accepted and she nervously responded with “well, I don’t see a visa or any paper attached to your passport”.
My heart sank to my ass.
In that split second, I wanted to scream out of pure anger at the universe so it would know how angry I was with it, however, I calmly asked my mom to go through the pages of my passport to see if there was anything inside (I had seen a work/holiday visa prior and the visa was actually a sticker like paper stuck on an empty passport page) and she says “oh wait, there’s your picture with a thing that says “visado” or something like that".
I was so overwhelmingly ecstatic- I had received my visa! I didn’t know how to contain myself or act or what to think, this was a changing moment in my life. I knew that this was my key to a new life. This would be my opportunity to travel and enjoy the world, to explore cultures and people and perhaps even find a job that I actually like, find some friends that I actually want to keep and maybe, just maybe, find love. This was my golden ticket to a start fresh. I could not believe that I was moving to Spain.
* * *
Three weeks later…
Why is there 24 hours in a day but ultimately feels like theres 300? Time is going by SO SLOWLY.
Oh my Lord!
I’m obsessing with leaving. It’s all I can think about. All the minute details like “what will I wear on the plane” and, "what will I put in which suitcase” and “I wonder if I should wear makeup on the flight or “I should buy new shoes before going” and, “what kind of phone plan will I have in Spain”, “should I wear the Reebok pants on the plane or maybe jeans? I’ll be too hot in jeans”, “What if I don’t understand what they say to me?”, “should I bring all my pens?”, “Can I get birth control over there?”
Honestly, it’s sheer chaos in my head. I can’t stop thinking about everything and the more I think the more I get anxious about going. I mean, this is suppose to be my salvation, my new start at life! I’m over here wondering what colour underwear I should wear on the damn plane, I mean c’mon!