2019 – a year on the road to personal autonomy

This year is almost gone. I cannot believe that it is already coming to an end! December it’s that time of the year when I think about my achievements, my failures, the lessons I’ve learned, and new dreams I’ve created. I can surely tell you that for me, 2019 has been all about gaining autonomy!

The beginning of 2019 – a terrible start!

I had the most painful and horrific beginning of the year when, in January 2019, my husband and I decided to separate. It was happening after more than six months of trying to bring our relationship on stable ground. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it. We spent New Year’s Eve separated, and it was one of the most heartbreaking moments for me.

In January, he moved out, while I stayed in the apartment we rented together just a few months ago, hoping that a change like that will help us.Β  There was this vast space that he left behind, and there were days in a row while I couldn’t even enter the living room, where he spent most of his time. In my heart, I knew this was the right thing to do and that our journey together should end. Even so, it was a hard and painful process.

After a while, I put all the things that reminded me of this marriage in a box and put it away, hoping it will be easier for me to get through. And yes, it helped. I also spent a lot of time with my dog, my 14 years old bichon and with few of my friends who were there for me.

heart shaped leaf

But then, this incredible idea popped into my mind!

Days passed by, weeks, I was so busy at work, just trying to keep up with my performance KPIs despite the grief.Β  And then, one day I woke up and just had this idea in my mind:

“I will go on this trip I wanted to do for such a long time – in Nepal. There is no such thing as the perfect moment, so maybe it’s time I stop waiting for it and just do it.”

Probably I just wanted to get away for a while and be by myself in this remote place. It was just something I felt, and it was for the first time I was putting my rational mind aside and took a decision by following my intuition.

So in April, I left with a group in Nepal. I didn’t know anybody from that group. We all met at the airport. Apart from the fact that we were all Romanians and going to the same destination, there was nothing we shared.

I spent 12 days in Nepal, and it was such a wonderful trip. I wrote an interview about it after I came back to Romania for my dear friend Lara, on her blog.

mountain view in the clouds
View from Australian Basecamp, Nepal

After I came back,Β  I finally went through and finalized the divorce settlement and papers. It felt liberating. I was standing in front of a new beginning.

And then, I started thinking about creating this blog. I was not sure what it would be about, but slowly everything became more precise, and well, here it is, a few months later. πŸ™‚

The most important lesson

Somebody asked me recently how did I realize I wanted to do this, the travel blog. The truth is that I didn’t know, at least not from the beginning. I found out while trying all sorts of different things: interior design, stock markets, painting, writing. These are all hobbies that I enjoy doing in my free time.

β€œTake the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

All my life, I was passionate about learning about different areas and industries. I never understood why we are thaught to specialize in only one area professionally. I was always so curious and wanted to explore everything that surrounds us.

The most important thing I understood in 2019 is that all this time, I was searching for my true self in the wrong places. I looked for discovering what I genuinely like by listening more to the others’ opinions than by listening to my inner voice. So when I finally managed to silence everyone else and turned to myself, it was so simple to realize what was already there since I was a child.

When I stopped to try to please everyone around me, things changed. I realized that often saying “No” to others means saying “Yes” to yourself.

The greatest achievement

My greatest achievement for this year is gaining autonomy. So it turns out that not everything that starts badly ends up in the same manner. In my case, this year ended in balance!

On a personal level, I knew I made the right decisions for myself, and this brought peace of mind. Why is autonomy important?

Now I make my choices based on my true values. I evaluate my options carefully, and my decisions are no more reactive, based on fear (of losing something, of rejection, of failure) or on needs. Being at peace with yourself and fully accepting your strengths and your weaknesses brings a sense of calm and serenity that can hardly be surpassed by anything else.

rocks in equilibrium on the seaside

Together with gaining autonomy comes also a significant amount of responsibility: for the way you consciously choose to live your life from that point on.

Dreams and challenges for 2020

In 2019, after the closure of this important chapter in my life, my marriage, I wanted to regain also my physical strength. Unfortunately, even though I liked doing sports, for the last 3 years, I disregarded this aspect. All this time, I was so preoccupied with other stuff, mostly linked to family life and our plans for the future. Somehow my attention was distracted from the things I used to enjoy.

So there I was, starting a fitness program that would help me go back in shape. Unfortunately, as I was about to find out shortly after that, this was not going to be simple, and my 100% office job didn’t help in this process. I had a herniated disk in my spine in the lumbar area, a diagnosis confirmed about seven years ago by my doctors. This condition aggravated because of bad posture and my static job. So, when I went back to the gym, it caused unbearable pain in my back at led me straight back into the doctor’s office, asking for help.

After following the recommended treatment (a lot of pills, physiotherapy), I finally reached a point where I was okay. No more pain, I could even carry a small backpack, surgery was not necessary. The challenge for 2020 is actually to maintain an active lifestyle in a healthy and safe way. So, for now, I have to train my discipline, persistence, doing my exercises daily, and my patience. Because guess what? Things don’t happen overnight. And after three months of daily training, my most significant achievement was to walk on a 6 hours easy hike and be fine.

As much as I would like to go to the mountains and do more than that, I have to take things slowly and be sure I can handle it in a healthy manner for my body.

My dreams for 2020?

  • To travel more and share my adventures with you here on the blog. πŸ™‚
  • To return to Nepal and do a trek in the mountains
  • Learn a new sport πŸ˜€

What comes after gaining autonomy? The journey continues

2019 was one of the most beautiful and fulfilling years, even though it started so sad. I traveled, discovered so much I am passionate about, and unexpectedly met some wonderful people along my way. I would surely like to have them as friends in the long run.

More adventures will come next year. I finish 2019 with a feeling of gratitude for the wisdom that it brought into my life. It was one of my best teachers so far.

I am looking forward to welcoming 2020 with an open mind and heart! ❀️


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