Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Mexican in Australia

As promised, I am sharing in this blog Jorge Loredo's experience when he moved to Australia:

Apparently there are not many Mexicans who dare taking the chance to settle “down”. Perhaps that explains why people raise the eyebrows as soon as they know where I’m from, and ask right after, why I decided to move to Melbourne?!!?... I’m still trying to get the right answer to that difficult question.

I’m a Mexican guy, (raised in a middle class family in a southern suburb in Mexico City), who decided to let go and explore what life is about once you hit the mid thirties. Australia happened to be the place to start and so far my life in Melbourne has been a great everyday experience. I love it just the way it comes... with its ups and downs.

And I reckon I was blessed to be raised into a strong, well oriented and progressive family who gave me enough confidence to put myself together and achieve my goals in life.

The decision of coming back to school after so many years has been a terrific experience to me, and quite frightening as well. It’s just that it never crossed my mind the idea of having to sit in exams, or being a student again. But I’m really happy about it, mostly for having the guts of doing it in a different country and totally outside of my comfort zone. That’s a personal challenge that I have accomplished and I’m proud of it.

“The Best Experience of My Life, Ever”
by Jorge Loredo

It has been two years and four months (roughly), since I arrived into my “new home”, and I’m still coping with my new reality. How distant I am now from that six month period I was expecting to settle down and start all over again. Actually, by then, I had already began to believe that it would be more complex.

All of a sudden my life just changed. Everything happened too soon, too fast. I didn’t have the time to adjust myself into this journey regardless the fascination with the idea of doing something different with my life. After all, it was the main purpose of all this, to do something new and different. Indeed, I reckon I never gave myself the time to rethink my own decisions, whether they were right or wrong. I simply followed my heart and guts letting intuition take control and become my guide....and didn’t see all this coming.

With plenty of anticipation I organized, planed and redirect my life (personally and professionally speaking) to accommodate a dream life into reality. More than a thousand times I questioned myself how much I really wanted to go through this experience, and how willing I was to turn around the page and leave all which for more than three decades represented my entire world. But in just a matter of weeks what I always thought was my special place God meticulously planned for me in this life, was completely gone.

The blast was blatant, and the expansion wave reduced my “happy life” into crumbles... with no mercy.

In a matter of weeks I found myself emotionally defeated, sad and depressed. I was trying really hard to keep a smile in my face pretending that everything was cool and alright. I mean, after all the fuss I did, the least thing I wanted was letting my parents and close relatives know that what I thought was the best idea ever, had turned out to become a total nightmare.

In retrospective, and analysing this transitioning part of my life in Australia, (which by the way I guess is far and distant of seeing an ending soon) I ended up realizing how attached I was to my life in Mexico. The fact of stepping out of my comfort zone, regardless my desire of changing my life became a strong confrontation with many feelings, all happening at the same time: fear, excitement, confusion, hesitation, and even anger for putting myself into that situation. – and those were the most common emotions that I constantly experienced during some months, feeling my life as if I were in a constant roller coaster , but without the certainty of a nice ending.

...My blurry recollections of those first six months are still fuzzy but, at the same time I was experiencing for the first time in my life the great sensation of being free to do whatever I wanted. It was scary but exciting at the same time.

Now I know that all the frustration and anger that I experienced during that stage of my life was due to my lack of ability to articulate thoughts, ideas, words or even expressions in English..... yeah!! and all these years I thought I was totally bilingual.. yeah right, !!! ...

The shock was so powerful that even trying to think or organize clear thoughts in my mind in Spanish became a nightmare. Wow!! I was so embarrassed with myself about my poor performance that I couldn’t do less than close myself to the rest of the world. All my insecurities popped out immediately and all of a sudden I was in panic and totally overwhelmed.

It took me quite a few months to overcome that weird stage of my experience, along with many embarrassing moments, needless to say, but fortunately ever since I managed to go over it, my life started to change...and it did all for good!.

I’m a new person now. I’m more flexible, very adaptable to any situation, and actually quite stronger than ever. Everything seems bright and clear now. (not that now I’m in wonderland), I can say I have overpassed the shock and overcome my own fears and insecurities, the ones that probably I was denying and running away from in Mexico. Now I’m totally in sync with my partner, my life and myself.

I would dare to say that now I am a happy person; the sort of guy who considers himself well sorted and stable, who can carve its present life with no hesitations. And I already started working on my future... that beautiful dream that did make all the sense in my head when I decided to come here.

I want to finish this story sharing a quotation by George Shinn that I read and liked very much. It constantly reminds me that not being afraid in life is so worth it. It pushes me to challenge myself every day.

“Growth means change, and change involves risks, stepping from the known to the unknown..”
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