I’m not even in my 30s and I’ve already been married, divorced and moved countries. I know all the decisions I’ve made, I’ve made by myself only but I can’t stop and wonder, what is life trying to teach me?
I’m the type of people that believes life is always trying to teach you something all the time. From an accident, to a failed marriage in my case. I was 23-years-old when I walked down the aisle dressed in a beautiful dress I designed myself. The Mexican beach as our witness and guests all dressed in white accompanied us in a reception I was 100% unsure of having. It’s not that I didn’t want to get married — shit, all women want to be with the love of their life forever — but that exactly was my problem. I was never in love with him. I loved him, but I never fell head over heels for him.
After five years of going out, his first real job was in Southeast Asia, so he asked me to marry him and be together in this adventure called marriage. So as intrepid as I’ve always been I said, “yes,” and started planning my exciting new life in a far away country with my Prince Charming.
But the recession came, all the rookies were made “redundant” and we were left off with an almost cancelled, half-organized wedding. Fortunately the oil business (his job) always needs new people, so after four long months of seeking, interviews and hundreds of sent CVs, he got a job in our home country. Although the adventure was not going to be as far away I still kept my “Yes” and made it an “I do.”
The first years were not as easy as they tell you. Money was short, he was always away on jobs leaving me alone in a strange city and he was still depressed on losing that amazing job he once had. Has anyone been with a depressed man? It’s like trying to pull a stubborn arse. Men, no offense, but you do not easily express your feelings, and believe me when I say crying helps.
I still loved him and decided to help him out as much as I could. We still travelled a lot for short periods of time and there I was, waiting patiently at dinnertime for him, sometimes in comfortable hotels in nice cities and sometimes in shady ones at small oil villages.
When he started gaining confidence and liking his new job, he started getting promotions one after the other. There I was congratulating him and opening some beers to celebrate his success together with our dog, oblivious to what was to come!
The fact I had been there for him so many times were not important to him anymore and as more money started coming in, the less I mattered. I found out he was cheating on me. Those times you accidentally see the Whatsapp notifications that appear on-screen and you see the name of a known woman saying how much she misses him and how much they can’t wait to be together again? I tried to forgive, after confronting him, but after a year of counseling, huge fights and slamming doors, the trust was not there at all, and this woman still was. So four years later, I decided to get down of the turbulence adventure and get a divorce.
I was 27-years-old and I’d never felt so old in my life. I had to start all over again. New house, new friends, more work, not that I’m complaining, but we had decided for me not to have a very permanent job if he got transferred again. So, now that I had to pay for all my bills, I had to start working double shifts as a language instructor. My parents, coming from a conservative country, were not amused, but surprisingly proud that I walked away from someone that did not appreciate me. That was when I realized how life wanted me to learn something — call it self-respect, self-confidence or just bravery — but it was something. One lonely and tearful night, I decided that I had to move on and make myself proud. I was free now, no one to help out but myself, no one to cheer up but myself. So, with a red convertible, leather seat Volkswagen he gave me to forgive him, I sold and bought a round trip to what I call my YOLO trip.
Travelling by yourself is the most self-rewarding thing you can do in your life.
I was backpacking through Europe alone, but never felt lonely. I ate a chocolate crepe that went cold almost immediately in front of the Eiffel Tower, but tasted so good; I visited long lost friends and as if time had never been between us, we got drunk and laughed like we once did. I spent money without worrying what would happen once I got home because to be honest, I had no home and it was okay.
The thing is, you don’t have another choice but to stand up and keep moving. I think the second thing life wanted me to learn was that the fall is not what matters, but the way you lift yourself up and keep walking your path, that’s what makes you who you are.
On one cold English day, after watching 12 Years A Slave with a friend whom I met from another friend back home, we decided a well-deserved beer was needed. We went into an old traditional English pub and the first thing I saw after all the beer banners hanging from the brick walls, were the bluest eyes and perfect pink lips I’d ever seen and I haven’t stopped seeing or kissing, ever since.
And that is the third thing life taught me throughout this whole voyage. Love is always around and it will come when you forgive yourself and let go of what ever happened in your past.