blogging expat life mental health

I’m somebody else…

Saturday, 21st of November, 2020

Well, you look like yourself

But you’re somebody else

Only it ain’t on the surface

Well, you talk like yourself

No, I hear someone else though

Now you’re making me nervous

I’ve been listening to this in the morning and it hit me hard when I realised that’s pretty much the conversation happening in my head lately.

It’s been a while since I last sat down and scribbled my thoughts on (virtual) paper. Truth be told there’s been chaos in my head for the last year or so and making decisions doesn’t come easy for me, which made everything even worse (the global pandemic didn’t help either!) but now things are more settled, I can finally at least attempt to figure out what’s going on.

I loved my year in Italy despite its ups and downs and the incredibly hard work. I met amazing people, I made amazing friends and learned a lot (I’ll write about that soon, I think it’ll be helpful for newly qualified EFL teachers). But I realised I needed to try something different and I was also in desperate need for me time, which was minimal during my first year of teaching. Yeah, it’s as hard as you’d imagine and even worse if you teach for a well-respected, busy school.

I was planning to work part-time for a while and devote the rest of my time on all my hobbies and interests and then a job that seemed perfect for me came up. It combined my love of variety, my urge to help others and my never-ending wanderlust so I thought I’d apply although I didn’t think I’d get it.

If you live in Cyprus you are probably aware it’s almost impossible to land a decent job unless you know someone to recommend you but I wanted to make it on my own. Miraculously, I did. It was painful of course but it was worth it (I wrote about that too a few weeks ago).

So, what now?

I’m certain I made the right decision but I’m also still VERY confused, conflicted and not sure who I really am. I’ve written a little about it before, it’s like I’m two different people , living abroad for years does that to you and what’s worse I miss all my people, my nearest and dearest who know me well and thankfully keep reminding me every now and then who I am. I desperately need it now my confidence has taken a hit. It’s tough to be confident when you are that confused.

The truth is I feel more like an expat now I moved back to Cyprus, more than I ever felt 10 years in the UK.

I don’t know much for now, I have to find the right balance (I’ll start making more videos and posts on English and mental health and travel very soon, as soon as I enlist all my coping mechanisms!) but one thing I know for sure (thanks to my new manager who gave me such great advice during our interview I’ll never forget), moving back home comes with compromises, you’ll have to adapt to the culture again, but never lose your identity and who you really are.

And that’s my advice to you if you are in a similar situation.

I dedicate this post to all my friends who I haven’t seen for months or years (more than a year now). I miss you all and can’t wait to see you and hug you tight one day in the near future.

Namaste

Eleni

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