There’s this weird thing that happens to you when you’re finally doing the things you have been wanting to do for such a long time; you forget about the old. It’s not until you step back into the old, that you feel how far you have come, but also that that same old is still there.
That’s what I’m feeling these days being back in The Netherlands. I’m seeing family and friends, visiting familiar places, getting back into the old habits. And then it just hit me; I haven’t changed that much. My old pains are still there, my old habits are just hidden because the new ones outshine them and I am still the sensitive human being that I am. I ran into my old self and didn’t like the sight of it. It made me sad and I started beating myself up for it still being there.
Change takes time and you don’t change overnight. There’s tons of hard work that need to be put into it and the old will always be underneath the new. Because you need a foundation to build on. You can’t build a solid house, if you don’t know the foundation.
But there’s something else there and that is brand new. There’s the escape that I never had until recently. There’s this new life in a new country, with a new language and new friends. There’s this life I love dearly and that I get to go back to in a few days time. Where I’m a better, stronger and more independent version of myself. My new life is tons of hard work, but also the most rewarding thing I have ever done. From that comfortable new house, I can look at the older foundations and thank them for supporting me in realizing this dream. They are no longer what defines me, but they were essential in the building process. And every now and then, they show on the surface and I know there’s another little construction site to work on and make this new house even more awesome. All building requires time, sometimes a bit of despair and definitely tears. It’s a process, but it is going to be better. Always.