Life for me has always been like a school – I’m always willing to learn, to grow, to sign up for new challenges. That also is the main reason I have put myself in this situation and why I embarked on this mission called “Project Manchester”. Even though one month is not a long time, for me this past month has been a big learning lesson. What did I learn exactly?
1. Open Eyes, Open Mind, Open Heart
Being in such a position the only way to really enjoy everything is to be open – to open your eyes and truly experience your surroundings, to open your mind and perceive things with no judgement (at least at first), and to open your heart… This last bit has been the hardest for myself, and I’m working a lot to let new experiences in, let my emotions be as they are, and let new people in.
2. Rediscovering My Comfort Zone
People who know me a while, know that I am a self-proclaimed introvert. I have had the chance to get to know this side of me, and it has taught me a great deal about my personality and relationships with others. Being here in Manchester though, I have realised that I am in no ordinary situation, and that means that I have to drop my ordinary approach to things to get along.
And it worked for me! Even though I am still very much introverted, I put myself in very extroverted situations – I go to new classes, I talk to strangers… I don’t even remember where that comfort zone of mine is located.
3. Building A Stronger Character
I think I have quite a strong personality when it comes to committing to things, embarking on new challenges, and just simply getting things done. But even people like me let their hands down sometimes. But if you just keep on going, stick to your goals and dreams, you will experience marvellous internal changes! The bigger benefit – stronger you.
4. My Friends And My Family Is Gold
No doubt, my friends and my family back home is my biggest support system. And I must admit – I have been relying on them quite a lot since I have been here. And no one should be ashamed for that! That’s why we are there for each other. Yes, I sometimes feel guilty that I have abandoned them to fulfil my dreams, and I feel their pain of being separated, but their support is incomparable to anything else.
5. …But I Should Make Friends Locally
This is the thing I am still working on myself – getting new friends here in Manchester. As much as I like keeping in touch with my Latvian friends and family, they have their own lives and schedules – they won’t always be able to be there for me. Having local friends will bring new opportunities and adventures for sure.
6. Being More Confident About Myself
I can’t be proud of having a very healthy self-confidence. I am working on it constantly for years, but I think the progress I have made within the last month beats anything I have achieved before. When you have to go and meet your potential employers over and over again, you finally start to realise your strengths, your value, your stronger skills and other virtues. You start to believe in yourself more. And if you have successful interviews and encounters with people, it works as an amazing confidence boost. Sure, you will hit some lows, but you learn to cope with that well.
7. The World Is My Oyster
It truly is! Even though I am still looking for my dream job in Manchester, this whole experience has taught me that practically anything is possible. If you set your mind to it, if you work hard for it – dreams become reality.
Only you can set limits to your abilities!
Note: This post originally appeared on Expat in MCR (expatinmcr.com) blog which has since been renamed to Dream Chaser (dreamchaserwrites.com).