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  • Forfatters billedeThe Writer

Why I left it all

Three weeks after my final high school exam I left my life in Denmark and moved to China.

I hadn't made a lot of thoughts as to what I wanted to do after graduation, and with little time left I was recommended to attend a Teach & Travel program, where you go to China to teach kids English.

I signed up and the next day they called me to explain that they send people out twice a year, so departure was now or I could wait another six months.

Life was by no means bad, I was just unsatisfied, with the all the things I didn't do. I realized that I had spent the past three years not living up to any of my potential and was unfulfilled.

All those cool things I wanted to do, the person I wanted to become, I just didn't get there. Sure, times were enjoyable but they felt hollow, and that reflected in my actions, my enthusiasm and efforts. I had been lazy, careless and unwilling to put efforts into anything. It was not what i had imagined it to be, what I wanted to be, but no longer.

All these thoughts going through my mind during that phone call, and what led me to take a deep breath and say: "sure lets go, three weeks, I'm there"

The days leading up to were nerve wrecking but I was excited. I stayed up entire night before thinking how this was the opportunity I needed. For the first time I could be who I always wanted to be, and not feel inadequate or wrong for it. One thing was for certain, whoever I was now, would not be the same person I'd be returning.

And so it went. Being out in the world on my own was incredible. It was liberating to be able to make my own decisions and not feeling like I had to hide anything. I had never felt so driven and worked harder than I ever did. I was now living up to my potential and with that my true self, and it was reflected in my actions. Yes, times were rough and I failed often. But if something did not work out, I got back up, and found something else that did.

I worked all sort of jobs, from teaching to being a nightclub promoter, had a random internship in a restaurant, helped to start a private Chinese learning company and all other sorts of strange, scary and wonderful experiences. Like so, What was supposed to be a six month journey turned in to three years.

There is immense value in removing ourselves from everything familiar and just throwing yourself out there. Now, I'm not saying people need to move across the world for years to do so. In my opinion, our comfort zones are manifested mentally as they are physical. Changing a habit or trying new activities are ways we can leave for something new without drastically changing our life trajectory.

Although from my own experience, the more dissatisfied you feel about current circumstances, the greater change is needed to turn things around. To reach our potential and become our best selves, we have to do what's challenging and make the hard decisions.

Because finding ourselves means searching in places we've never looked.

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