It’s been 161 days since my last post and I haven’t told you so many things that have happened, even before that!
So, I moved out of Venezuela. I came to Colombia on August 14th, 2016. But let me start from the beginning:
My husband and I – ohh, I didn’t tell you I got married, did I? Well, I did. We got married on July 20th. It was a small wedding, we just went to the prefect’s office, signed the papers and had some close family celebrate with us. The best of all was the cake, which I did myself, take a look:
But yeah, we got married, then a week later on the 26th of July, it was my graduation ceremony for my Master’s degree (remember when I told you guys about writing a thesis? I completed it a long time ago, I just didn’t get around to doing all the paperwork and get the actual diploma.
We got married because we love each other, yes, but the date was decided for practical reasons: We had plans of coming to Colombia later in the year and we needed to get the paperwork done before leaving Venezuela.
So the plan was this: Jorge would come to Colombia in October 2016 while I remained in Venezuela getting everything else done (apostille documents, buy suitcases, get the dog ready for traveling, all the things you need to do in order to emigrate). I planned to come around December 2016 or January 2017, once everything was ready, to give Jorge enough time to find an apartment and everything else, and hopefully it would give me enough time to find a job before traveling.
Boy, did I get lucky on that one!
As it stands, I applied by chance to a position in Colombia. The owner of the company sent me an e-mail requesting a Skype interview, which we had on Monday, August 8th. I really didn’t have many expectations, I mean, I read the ad, it was for an academic coordinator at a language institute in Bogotá, and I thought I would get through with it just to see what kind of questions I would get once I started looking for a job like, for real. I never imagined that he would offer me the job and ask me to be at the office the following week!
So that’s the story of how our plans got thrown out of the window. I had exactly a week to clean my closet, give away half of my clothes and a ton of books that I knew I could buy again, pack clothes, books (because no, you soulless monster, I would not abandon my favorite books), get a plane ticket and move to Colombia, where my brother-in-law and his wife have been living for the past 5 years. I swear to whatever God exists, that was the most stressful week in my life.
That’s how I came to be here, however, that’s not the important part of the story.
I thought that was the most stressful week in my life, but the truth is that the weeks after that were the worst of my life. I don’t think I have ever been so depressed, so unbelievably lonely. I cried myself to sleep every single night. Being away from familiar places, familiar faces, in a city so big it completely overwhelmed my senses, in a job for which I got no real training, just a “here’s your office, here’s your computer, now start working”, you can’t imagine how many times I thought about either going back home or crawling inside a hole and dying. It was one of the lowest points in my life.
And the cold! The freaking, fucking, cold! I am a tropical animal, an iguana if you will, so I need the sun and the warmth like I need air. I arrived here and not only it was cold, it was rainy, and gloomy, and all-around horrible. I am not sure if perfectly suited my mood or if my mood worsened because of the weather.
I was also overwhelmed by how big the city is. I got lost so many times at one point it was just a normal occurrence. The first time it happened I broke down crying and a police officer bought me some tea and accompanied me to where I was supposed to go. He was a lovely human being, and he could empathize with me because he was from a very small town as well.
Every day I spoke to my husband, my parents and my sister, but I only confided in my sister, and not even all of it because I didn’t dare putting it into words. I couldn’t even talk to my brother-in-law about it because I knew he would say that when he moved he had it rough, too. The difference is that he had his wife with him. I had to leave my husband not even a month after our wedding!
I started having what I now know were anxiety attacks. I would get dizzy, have heart palpitations and chest pain, I would develop migraines, and worst of all, a feeling of overwhelming fear and of losing control. Whenever I left my brother-in-law’s home I felt like I was in danger, like I was going to die a horrible death and all would have been for nothing. I would wake up everyday and vomit everything in my stomach, because the fear was so intense.
I have never felt so helpless before, and I wish I never get to feel like that again.
Jorge arrived on October 6th, and that brought back a measure of stability to my life. I also found an apartment a few weeks before his arrival, which was also a source of comfort. I still have some anxiety issues, especially when I have to go to a new part of the city by myself, but Google Maps has been helpful, it keeps the fear of getting lost at bay. I have gotten lost a couple of times but thankfully I have found nice people who have helped me find my way in the city, so all is well.
I swear I had a point in mind when I started writing this, bear with me, please. I think I wanted to get it out of my chest (and believe me, there’s a lot I haven’t told you!). If you have moved out of your city or your country, congratulations for surviving the experience! I hope it was a good one for you! After the initial shock things got better for me, so there is always hope! If you haven’t but are thinking about it, please, please, find someone to talk to about your fears and to share your experience with, it will make a huge difference and you will hopefully adapt better to the changes.
My last thought about this (for now) is that, while I am thankful for finding a job so quickly and that things just fell into place, I wish I had had more time to process everything before taking the leap. Hopefully, next time will be better 🙂