She took one last look at her old life and whispered “I will never see you again”
This has to be my favourite photo from my time of living a life as an adventure in Andalucia, Spain. Up in the Sierras was my favourite place to be. I’m a mountain girl by heart even if I live in cities from time to time.
I’m sure you’ll know by now that I had eight years of adventures in the land of the bull. Indeed, last month was the eighth anniversary of the day I set off from my homeland of the UK, just me and my dog, Sally, travelling the long road to Andalucia and my new home. It was such an exciting time.
It’s a date when I check in with myself. When I trot down memory lane and I ask the question, “Would I have done anything differently?” Of course, the answer is no.
What I remember the most is the feeling of relief. I’d released myself from a life that made me so unhappy.
This year has felt a little different because my Spanish dream is over. I’m leaving the life of a wanderer behind out of choice. Portugal is now my home and it is where I belong. For now.
It’s a strange feeling to be at the end of a dream. I feel sad. I could go back to Spain tomorrow if I wanted to. But I don’t want to even if I miss it every day. There’s always a period of grieving at the end of every situation. An in-between stage that is necessary to process and release. For my mind and heart to catch up with the physical changes in my life.
The same thing happened with my legal career. The only difference is that the dream was over two years before I left, which was why I ended up having the f*ck it moment of my life. I held on way too long. Life got very messy.
I held on for too long because I was scared to change and I felt like I had failed.
Often, we think when something comes to an end that we have failed when, really, it’s just the end. Nothing more, nothing less. The cycle of life asks that we let go. Not to punish us, but because it’s just the end and we have to let go to enter a new phase of our life.
What I failed to see the first time around, as a lawyer, is that I’d achieved my dream. I reached the pinnacle in my legal career. As that phase of my life came to end, I forgot to remember that I had already succeeded. There was no personal growth for me and no reason to continue. Life had bigger plans for me.
Change is never easy, my friends, but you always know when it comes knocking on your door, ringing your bell. Inviting you on to bigger and better things. You feel it. Deep down, you know.
You’ll feel unhappy, trapped and hopeless. If you´re lucky, you´ll feel frustrated, desperate and even a little angry.
If we don’t let go then things get messy. We get messy. Life gets messy. If we are lucky, life often steps in with a wrecking ball to knock us on to the new path. The path you might feel you´re not quite ready to be on. Nevertheless, it is your path. Your destiny awaits and it’s far bigger than you can begin to imagine.
Which is why I didn’t make the same mistake when it came to letting go of my life in Spain. On my last visit to Andalucia to pick up Willy, my dog, a friend asked: “Do you feel this is the right move for you? You love Spain?” My answer was, “Yes, there´s no growth for me here but it makes me very sad”.
If you are facing change, then I hope you have the courage to go beyond yourself. That you are brave enough to let go of a job, relationship or life that it’s not you for you, anymore. That you’ll use your gifts and be of service in a different way. None of our life experiences are ever wasted. We learn skills that we can use again and again. Just in a different way.
What you feel is being taken from you will always be replaced. You’ve just got to be brave enough to let go.
We’re on the Road to Santiago! If you have a dream of walking the Camino de Santiago, let us take care of the mundane leaving you to enjoy the magic. We specialise in Guided Journeys and Self-Guided Journeys along the Portuguese Camino de Santiago. Visit us at Wild Camino or click the link below for details.
(c) Samantha Wilson 2019. All Rights Reserved.