“We Turn Frustration into Inspiration”: Six lessons about moving back home

It’s been almost five month since I have’t been at Brunnsparken. Well, it is not a big deal, of course, some people never been there:) But you got the point, right?

My friend Barbara, a journalist from Hungary, once told me “Don’t afraid to go back home. Many good things happened to me since I moved to Budapest”. Still, I was honestly freaking out to move back to Ukraine, thinking that I will loose more than I gain. No, this post is not about how I was completely wrong, because I don’t know this yet. It is about how I consciously re-build relationships with my home, trying to stay congruent with myself along the process. Here are a few lessons that I’ve learned.

Lesson 1: It’s in your head1

I started preparation for re-entry in Ukraine from building a right mindset. Well, “right”. Optimal. First of all, I got rid of this suicide-like idea that it is forever. Here to tell, any kind of “forever” frightens me a lot. I don’t trust these forevers and people who use them. Planes crush, husbands cheat, oil prices drop down, peninsulas got stolen – how the hell we can talk about anything lasting forever? In this epoch of uncertainty and terrorism, absence of guarantees that I’m moving here forever gave me a blurry chance and a silly hope that more big adventures for me are yet to come.

Lesson 2: Find a right time

By the end of spring it already felt like a right time to leave. Maybe not forever (ha!), but for sure – right now. Because I was already a bit local in Sweden, but still could see small details that are visible only to foreigners. Because life there was not surprising anymore, but still amazed me. Because I focused too much on this country which is neither a norm nor a standart, but rather a happy exception of that lifestyle that works in most places in the world. And it was a right time for me to remember about it, to try something else, to meet someone else. Not to get stuck. Not to get tied.

Just like it is with Ukraine, I love Sweden for completely different things than most of the people do. Therefore, I didn’t have many like-minds there. I felt like I should grow and move, and I even had a clue where.

Lesson 3: Be a good girl

4Positive psychology has never been my thing. Smile more, change your way of thinking and everything will be toppen. What a bullshit! On the other hand… It looked like the only solution at the moment of my return. My situation was like an equation where all variables are fixed and the only one could be changed. In my case, this variable was my mindset – the only thing I had power on. So, I tried the most trivial thing one can think of – I tried to see something good in the fact of coming back to Ukraine. All in all, quality manicure is 15 times cheaper in Poltava than in Sweden. Meeting old friends (the ones who survived long-distance friendship) also costs a lot. Real taste of vegetables. More sunny days. Men offering a hand. Not bad for a start.

Lesson 4: …Or a Yes-man

I also figured out that saying yes to everything might be a nice idea. Remember Jim Carrey? Movie-night in a local Soviet-looking library? – Why not! Shopping on a central market with classical babushkas and Georgian men? – Would be fan. Beer in a provincial student pub? – Well, beer is still beer. First, I had to fake the interest. Because “I guess you can’t expect much from your hometown” as Gogol Bordello sings. Then I decided to become an explorer, a reporter, an international student from Botswana – anyone who would actually be curious and non-biased towards local life. Soon I learned to find a sweet charm and harmony in small episodes of my poor motherland.

Lesson 5: Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can fall together. Period.

I have always been able to build better relationships with places than with men. Leaving a city where I was truly happy felt like a real loss. So on arrival I applied old good break-up survival methods. New hair-cut and new shoes; going out and, sometimes, turning into a Burrito Of Sadness wrapping in a blanket and crying to the pillow; being extra social with a help of extra dry martini, training like a national para-Olympic team and work, work, work. Somehow it gave me a double shot of a new life, fresh endorphins, and one day I surprisingly found myself not lying while saying “I’m good, thanks. Yes it’s nice to come back”.

Lesson 6: Nevermind, and find someone like… you2

All in all, it’s always about people. Those, who know how to listen. Those, who have passion to what they do. Those, who travel, set the goals and challenge themselves. Those who know what does “to make a choice” mean. I was blessed to meet them also here, in my hometown from where I once run away searching for like-minds and soulmates. What can I say? People help.

***

P.S.: Antidepressants also help. Just in case.

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