Adventure anxiety death depression grief italy journal life lifestyle mental health teaching english abroad

I won’t know where I’m going if I don’t know where I am…

A few days ago, I woke up in a sweat, tears streaming down my face, in the middle of the night. I saw my uncle Spyro in my dream, he looked so alive and healthy but he was sad. He knew he was going to die and I was painfully aware he was already dead. It took me a few seconds to realise where I was. I’m in Italy. How on earth all of this happened in just few months?

That’s when it hit me.

I have no idea what is going on. Not a clue. Now that the dust has settled and I’m getting into a routine, a routine I’m not familiar with and not quite sure how it should be, teaching English in a foreign country is brand new to me, I’m making time for myself to reflect, to make sense of what has happened in the last few months.

I don’t know where to start and how to end this post but here it goes.

I still sometimes feel I’m on a long, albeit random and bizarre holiday and I’ll be returning to the UK anytime now. I don’t miss my job, or the grey weather, OK I do miss British autumn, golden leaves across the park, hot chocolate at Mettricks, reading a book or watching silly TV on a Saturday afternoon with a blanket, a cup of tea and some chocolate biscuits whilst pouring down with rain outside, but other than that I don’t miss the UK.

I miss things from the UK, the convenience of it all (Amazon Prime aaah), actual little daily things like decent tea, Hobnobs and Chocolate Digestives, but most of all I miss my friends, my dear friends. Not that I don’t love my new colleagues and friends I’ve made already, but I miss my people.

So far I’ve enjoyed working as an EFL teacher. But is this the career I’d like to follow?

I don’t know, I genuinely don’t. I don’t even know if I’m any good at it. I’ll soon get feedback from my managers after they observe me but for now I’m doing what I think best.

Of course if I decide that’s not what I’d like to do long-term I can change careers again, but to do what?

For now I’ll give it time and not think that far ahead, but it’s always at the back of my mind.

I’m strangely not stressed or too anxious, not as much as I expected I’d be. Being one of the oldest teachers and having lived life already comes with its perks I guess. I do sometimes feel I let the rest of them down when I’m too tired or too ill or too old (in a ‘been there, done that’ sense) to follow them in some of their excursions.

It’s still unclear in my head whether I pursued this so fast to not disappoint my tutors who gave me a Grade A or to avoid dealing with my grandpa and my uncle’s deaths, I feel I haven’t processed still what has happened.

I remember the last time I was at my grandpa’s house, where my auntie now lives alone, without pappou Costa or theio Spyro and I caught myself waiting for them to show up. A horrible, sad realisation they will not ever again.

I also feel terrible guilt. I feel guilty I didn’t give my home, Cyprus more time. I was so occupied worrying not to get stuck I left after just a month. I didn’t travel across the island, I didn’t see all my friends and family. I needed an escape and ended up changing my plans at the very last minute.

I know deep in my heart I made the right decision leaving my job and leaving the UK. I’m not sure I made the right decision rushing into my first ELT job, but time will show.

For now I need to find myself again, I have felt the black cloud of depression getting closer over the last week and I desperately want to keep it away.

I need my remedies, my writing (which I’ve done a lot, this terrible cold I can’t shake off did me good in other ways), my Yoga- God I miss Adriene-, my guitar- God I miss my guitar-, and I need to feel like myself because at the moment… (I couldn’t have described it better than Wind and the Wave’s Lost)

That I won’t know where I’m going
If I don’t know where I am
But I feel more
I feel more
Lost

Eleni

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