It has nearly been a year since I took the plunge and moved from Manchester to Poznan. I have been writing blog entries about my exciting travels, new friends, new foods, new adventures. Everyone I talk to back home says when they read my blog it sounds like I am having the most amazing time. This much was true for the most part. I enjoyed getting to grips with a new language and culture, I enjoyed forest walks and the cold winter, I enjoyed forging new relationships and I enjoyed the pierogi. I do have to admit something though (which is possibly the most personal thing I have written on this blog), I was also really struggling.
I’m not one for getting homesick. Exploring the world is something I have always wanted to do and I know I’ll always have my family and friends back in England to return to. Moving abroad was a scary prospect but I took it in my stride. Unfortunately, a few months before my return to the UK for a summer break, things got too much for me. Living in Poznan is such a change from Manchester. I don’t feel there is much international acceptance, you’ll have read in other posts of mine that I have been at the end of some negative interactions. There is also a massive issue with sexism. These things, coupled with a massive language barrier, limited friends and hard work, meant I lost myself. I wasn’t Amie anymore. I wasn’t even fussed about birds! It was like everyday was ground hog day and I just had to get through. Each day was one day closer to going home to my family.
I went home to England for the summer. The first few weeks weren’t great. I didn’t realise how much of me had disappeared. With the support from my amazing family I got back on track and my mood picked up. I am now back to my smiling, happy self. It’s strange how things can happen without your control. How the body and mind cope with negative situations and you just can’t keep up.
Whilst being home, I made the decision to move back to the UK and continue my studies remotely. This was not an easy decision for me to make, but happiness and health are the only thing of true value in this world, they are the things that matter most. My team in Poznan have been so supportive of the decision. It has made the whole process a lot easier. I am actually quite proud of the choice I have made. I could have given up and quit or stayed and been unhappy. Instead I am adapting. Adaptation is the thing that gives any individual strength. Whether it’s birds adapting to the presence of a noisy road, or bees adapting to a lack of suitable flowers…Some will adapt at least. Those individuals will be stronger.
I want people to read this and to think that they can do whatever they need to do. It may be hard. It may be awkward. It may be really annoying. But just do whatever makes you happy.
I now find myself smiling at the little things again. Long-tailed tit song, a fox in the golden dusk light, a really fat wood pigeon waddling around the garden. Even a really good cup of coffee is a thing of greatness now!
Years ago, my good friend Cat told me a quote:
“Let the sun bring you new energy by day and then the moon should restore you by night, the rain wash away your worries, the breeze blow new strength into your being and you should walk gently though the world knowing its beauty all of your life.”
Be happy. Keep smiling. Enjoy life.