When I got the call from the embassy, telling me that I have a letter that I should come to pick up, the world stopped spinning for a second, and all I could hear was my heart beating like crazy and I knew: trouble.
On my way there I effortlessly tried to appease my own toughts screaming inside of my head, and focus on breathing. I felt all and nothing at the same time, I expected nothing but I wanted it all- and there I was, right in front of Dante’s Inferno.
”He who knows to wait, has nothing to ever be worried about.”
Patience is most certainly the best weapon you could ever have and you will always need. But patience is something you learn, life teaches you to become patient everyday but it also puts you on a test everyday, just to make you see how difficult it might be sometimes…
My name appeared on the screen and I entered the office, my hands shaking, my heart skipping the beat, my emotions running through my whole body and then I realized how much I actually cared. A woman who didn’t seem to have a soul, but did seem as if she has done this many times before and is obviously enjoying it, didn’t say a word. She looked at me for one whole second and gave me the letter, showing me the way out with her eyes. Now my body was controlling my mind and I was walking towards the exit, calm and with such an ease, when I knew that this is just a quick calm before the storm. Without even considering if I should open it or no, I put the letter in my bag and kept walking. I didn’t know where I was going but I knew I have to keep walking, I couldn’t stop my legs from moving. My whole body was possessed by only one emotion that I knew I was still learning how to control: anger.
I entered the first train that I saw, not really caring where it would take me, but I knew very well where I had to go. The only place where anger can’t survive, the only place where I could always be calm, the only place that could stop the war that was going on inside of me, the one and only place where it all made sense. I entered the churc, and silently stared at one dot on the wall for 25 minutes.
”The worst feeling is not feeling anything at all.”
I knew it meant nothing else but a comeback, since everytime I felt like my world was falling apart, it was just because it was time to rebuild it.
“Why?!” I almost screamed.
No response, but I didn’t need one anyway.
People keep making plans for their future instead of living the moment, and life’s laughing in their face showing them the power to change their whole life in a few minutes… I thought of all the things I went through for this, all the roads I walked to get to the place where I wanted to be- a place that seemed so far away from the one I was at that moment.
Let me take you to the time journey.
When I was 15 I promised myself I will graduate at the University of Vienna, and so a few years after that I moved to Vienna and the battle had started. Before I arrived the hardest thing was to get in, but once I got in I knew that the hardest thing was to stay where I was. Just like many other young and curious souls, I wanted to take all the chances I could get and try to achieve as many things as I could. I was unconditionally happy when I realized that the city where I then lived could offer plenty of opportunities, and my abilities and ambitions felt the urge to be released and experience the new territory.
Now, people usually expect for the first thing you are being asked while interviewing for a job to be: “Could you tell us something about yourself?” I was being asked: “Could you show us your visa?” And so when you want to study abroad sometimes the entrance exam isn’t the only thing you have to conquer, but a ‘visa journey’ as well. But I came prepared. Or at least I thought so…
Even thought things didn’t really work out the way I expected, or well- not at all, I practically closed my eyes on every obstacle that knocked on my door, I literally didn’t care what I was about to lose, I never really thought of anything else but one: to do what I came to do. Everyday was a new chance to win the game and I knew it. Besides, obstacles were always my biggest triggers, and I knew that whenever something gets on my way I will work twice as hard to overcome it. And so it was, I didn’t ask what it takes, I didn’t care what I had to do, because I was willing to do anything.
Three months have passed since I have applied for my Visa, I didn’t receive any information from the embassy. As the Non-EU foreigner you are obligated to leave the country after three months if you don’t have a Visa.
I left Vienna and had to spend next 3 months in my home country, while still waiting for an answer from the embassy- far away from the University and everything I have planed to do in those three months. Before I came to Vienna this situation has crossed my mind as a possible outcome, but to be honest, it was more a Plan Z than a Plan B. I spent 3 months calling, I wrote over 100 emails trying to get any information about my Visa, and after the 1st week of waiting I already found a job to keep me busy and distracted from the situation that I couldn’t escape, but still receiving all the lectures from my colleagues, hoping to make it to Vienna before all the exams start.
The exam week had passed and a new semester started, but in my case it was still the 1st, since I had to start it all from the beginning.
Vienna is a beautiful city with an amazing culture, some of the most beautiful streets you would see in your life, reminding you of an old-time movie but at the same time it is one of the most modern cities you have seen- but it’s expensive as hell. If you got a job, and of course have an EU Passport which doesn’t require to pay University (in case you are a student), but also if you are in the business world too-you will really enjoy it. On the other side, if you don’t have a job (because you don’t have a Visa, for example), you don’t have an EU Passport either and above all you are a student-think twice.
For me, the sky was the limit, so I didn’t really have time to think about the facts and statistics, I only saw my goal. So, I started to teach languages or do anything else that was allowed to do without a visa, so that I can at least stay in Vienna and pay my rent and University while still waiting for my Visa.
Finally, I got a call saying that there was a mistake in my visa application and that I have to make a new one, since this one can’t be approved. After 7 months of no response- I got that one.
We think we know ourselves until the situation that haven’t happened before occurs and awakens some emotions that we didn’t know that existed inside of us.
”We shouldn’t run from the unknown, the best things in life happen when we leave our comfort zone, the edge is not only the end-it is also a beginning.”
Well, one lost game didn’t mean the whole war is lost, so I started to get everything ready for my next application. Next whole year I have spent trying to find the solution to be able to stay in Vienna, including going to Spain in order to get a Spanish Visa- which was much easier for me- for whatever reason, and would help me stay in Vienna at least for a few months more- I didn’t mind. For one whole year I had to travel every three months back and forth between Vienna and my home country- because I didn’t get any answer about my Visa which was equals to not having a Visa at all- but that I didn’t mind either, I just wanted to be in Vienna and study. I never was one to only await the arrival to the final destination, I wanted to enjoy the journey, every part of the journey. I wanted to use my ambitions and my abilities, I wanted to use the opportunities I was often being offered and I wanted to achieve great things for myself.
Plenty of job interviews, plenty of opportunities to start something that I desired deep inside of me, a chance to chose the life I wanted instead of accepting it the way it was. But then again, the moment the Visa was mentioned-the door was closed.
I wondered the streets and observed people. One look at their face and I could see a lot of things, emotions, worries, fears, happiness, and the thing about observing people around you is that it brings us back to reality. Very often we build a wall around our own life, problems and feelings, that we somehow distance ourselves from the reality, where everything looks different. While observing people around me I started to feel like my problems seemed smaller, not at all insignificant- because they are there, but now they seemed smaller. While talking to others in order to find the solution for my Visa problem, I realized that people just couldn’t or even wouldn’t believe what was happening in my case, how am I here for so long if I have no visa, how is all this even happening, people actually asked me: “How do you do it?”
My University that I admired so very much made it clear that there is nothing they can do to help, and so once again, I got the call from the embassy saying that my visa application couldn’t be approved, giving me an argument that after a while resulted to be wrong, but the consular department of course didn’t want to acknowledge that fact and their mistake.
I wanted to fight, I was even offered to go to the court with a good chance to win the case, since the consular department have made a mistake in my application. I was at the crossroad, a very important one, and after a long research and consultants I realized that going to the court and starting the whole case would take almost a year (which, of course benefits the other side-time to spear), and the only thing that I didn’t have now was TIME. I have spent three denied Visa applications in this city- which in real time was 2 years, and I started to feel tired.
But then a strange thing happened…
I knew that since I was a kid I wouldn’t give up no matter what until I achieve what I wanted, but I also knew that I didn’t like to stay too long where I don’t feel completely welcomed. Whatever I do in life, I do it with love, emotions, passion and whatever it is that I do-I need to feel free.
There are everywhere people who are not happy with the way things are in their life, people being married to someone they don’t love, people working in places that exhaust them while doing the job that deprives them, or anyone doing anything that just doesn’t make them happy or fulfilled… but they keep doing it.
”You either do what you want to do, or what others tell you to do, but it’s always your choice!”
Why? Is it because sometimes we have to be pushed to the very edge of something to become brave enough to finally jump, because that will be our only choice then? Is it because very often we wait for the things to completely fall apart and get destroyed so that we can be able to start rebuilding them?
Maybe you think that the job you have now is paying your rent, your everyday life and your needs, and even though it makes you feel like you are dying from inside while doing everyday things that are emptying you instead of fulfilling you- you think that leaving your current job and searching for the new one will just be too complicated? It’s much easier to just stay where you are now, and somehow your body and mind will get used to the fact that you are not happy, but you’ll survive.
Yes, looking for a new job can last a week, a month, maybe a few months. Yes, during your search you may not have enough financial aids to afford yourself the same things you could before, and yes-you might get rejected, probably more than once. But you know what-that’s just the way to get what you really want, the way to become who you really want to be. Once you realize that no new door will open until you close the old one, you will learn to always be ready for something new or better. Taking risks and going out of your comfort zone is necessary if you want to achieve something great!
”If you want to have something that you never had before, you have to do something you have never done before.”
Ordinary is usually easy to get to, but it’s the unordinary that makes us discover the unknown and new, it’s the unordinary that will bring us to the places we never thought we could reach, it’s the unordinary that will make us evolve and grow.
So trust me, if you have a dream, a goal, something that you always wanted to have, something that you always wanted to feel-do something about it. Go out there and actually work for it!
If you want that job-go all the places where you might get it, seek for all the people who need to hear you, because every second you spend in the place where you don’t want to be is one lost second in the place you wished you could be at. Of course, it’s not always all or nothing, in order to get to the 100th stair you have to pass all the 99 that came before, so if you have to do something that you don’t really like but you know that it will lead you to the place you want to be- that’s an important step too! Don’t be afraid to fight just because you could lose. After all, a winner is not the one who never lost, a winner is a loser who never gave up…
We often get manipulated by things, in a way that we convince ourselves that there is only one way ahead of us-usually the way that we are already walking, we get so focused on what is in front of us that we don’t realize how many things are actually around us, and that it’s never too late to change the way we are going.
”Embracing changes equals growth.”
Once I get too comfortable with something, I crave for something new. I don’t follow any templates, I do what fulfils me. I felt like nowadays people have lost the idea of values, the perception of values has changed drastically, it has gone so far that very often one might get confused about his own opinion and attitude and think that he should adapt them to others, instead of creating a unique personality. Our spirits needs to be free, with no limits.
”In life it’s not about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.”
At that point- everything turned around for me. I no longer felt so attached to the city, to the University, to the whole story that was happening to me at that moment, as if I have liberated myself from everything around me and actually asked myself: “What do I want?”
I wanted to graduate at that exact University, I wanted it so bad and I was ready to do anything to achieve it. But now I realized how many things that meant very much to me I was actually letting go and how many things that were important to me I was willing to forget.
So I asked myself: “Is it all worth it?”
Do we sometimes get so preoccupied with our current goal or plan, that we actually don’t even realize how much damage are we making to everything else that actually matters to us?
I wanted to do so many things at that phase of my life and the last thing I needed is something putting a lock on my dreams.
So I left Vienna.