We are at the beginning of May. I am sitting at home, I look around. Let’s face it: I don’t feel happy here, in this rented apartment. I quite liked it for the first months, and it was such a great option for me when I moved back to Portugal from France. But after a while, the house underwent some refurbishing work, decisions were made, obviously out of my control, and instead of making the place more peaceful, it made my living here more and more stressful. I am a very sensitive person, and small things can affect me way more than I wish they did.
Had I really moved back to Ericeira to stay stuck and unhappy?
I had been looking for a new place for a while but the demand for long-term rentals here has been so high since 2017, nothing was fitting my budget. It was draining to search. I was giving up. I had lost hope. I had negative thoughts and regrets, thinking that if only I hadn’t made the decision to move back to France in 2018 I would still live in the cute village I loved so much. I knew thinking this way wasn’t helping, yet I couldn’t help myself.
The fact was that I couldn’t downsize to renting a room, with my 2 pets and my workspace, we would suffocate. I didn’t leave London to get back into a similar situation, did I?
I let another month pass, not knowing what to do. All I could feel was that I shouldn’t actively search anymore, that the answer wouldn’t be on the private rentals or real estate websites.
At the beginning of June, I did this very powerful one-off therapy session. As the work slowly began, I calmly started to shift my perspective. All I knew was I didn’t want to stay right here, yet I had nowhere else to go.
So I took the matter seriously. After reading a book in which a girl decides to leave Birmingham to settle in Scotland, I got inspired and I decided that after all, Portugal was not the only lovely place in Europe, and maybe I can find somewhere else, equally charming but with still affordable prices. Maybe not Scotland though?
Galicia came to my mind. I loved it there when I visited 2 years ago. The compromise was that it rained a lot more, and it was a little more isolated from everything, but I would get massive vast open spaces and a cheaper way of living. Tempting. Very tempting. I would have to start all over again though. That’s something I had promised myself I wouldn’t do anymore. But the situation was what it was. So I decided that I’d need to see it for myself again first. Get a real feel for it, see if there is chemistry, if it clicks.
Within one weekend, I created my summer plan, to go to Galicia for a couple of weeks at least and then visit France. I informed my close family members about it. I was almost done with subletting my home here, and I had decided on travel dates. The week started and I let these plans sync in slowly. On Wednesday morning, I get a call from a friend who lives in the village I lived and loved before I moved to France. She tells me they are refurbishing a small place, maybe I should look into it. She was aware of how long I had been looking for a new place and was kind to pass on the information.
At first, I’m doubtful. Maybe it’s super small, won’t fit. Not sure. But quickly I felt something pushing me to make a call, take action, find the landlord and book a viewing. As it turned out, the landlord ended up being the same person I used to rent my previous apartment from. I had told him over a year ago that I was looking to move back there, and he had tried to get in touch with me by email about this place. But in the meantime, I had lost hope. I had also changed my work email address and I hadn’t updated my previous personal contacts about it. So when he heard nothing back, he thought I was no longer looking. But there I was, somehow. Ready to be hopeful again. We agreed to a viewing shortly afterward. I was already feeling something special was happening.
Why would this be happening now, when I made the decision to leave Portugal again, if it wasn’t to tell me that I was meant to stay here? Was this basically a sign? That my place is here?
Earlier that week, I had shared my situation with my kind naturopath, and she had replied something that stuck with me:
“Sometimes when we don’t see around us what we need in order to be happy, it is because it is up to us to create it for ourselves. Leaving isn’t always the answer. You need to make the difference between leaving for something else, and running away.”
I felt that.
And there it was. Within 3 days, I went to see this little apartment, and I felt it so strongly. This is the one I had written about once in my wishes list. Quiet area, cul de sac street, small outdoor space, nice landlord that I even already knew, animals accepted. It was all fitting my list and my budget I couldn’t believe it. It was even better than I imagined!
This made me feel like I am being given a second chance. I get to move back to the village I used to love and cherish so much. I feel things are already shifting, changing for the better.
I feel like I am worth getting a second chance. That I am good enough to deserve to live in a place that makes me happy and feels like home. It made me feel that living there before wasn’t all for nothing, that I had built good relationships. That there are no regrets to have, for no time was ever wasted. That leaving and going to France for a year wasn’t a mistake, but a chapter in my life I had to go through. It made me understand that trusting my intuition is the way forward, as then I could see why searching online for a new rental was not the answer for me.
It made me understand that it is great to wish for your dreams to become reality, but the catch is that you also need to trust that it will happen in ways that you cannot control or foresee.
And so here I am. Packing boxes and jumping around with my dog, making a little dance here and there.
Here I am again. Rising. Trusting. Thankful. Tearful. Happy.
I got my feet in the sand with my dog and friends last night on this very special beach where I had spent so much time before. I felt so much joy, healing, happiness, openness. It was all real. It is real. I will be fully moved in a few days.
There will be a lot more I will need to share. About life. Failure. Or the sense of failure. Losing hope. Low self-esteem. Time passing. Regrets. 3 of Swords and 5 of Pentacles if you’re into Tarot. I am slowly getting out of this space, after years of feeling stuck. I need to share what it feels like, and what to do to get out of it.
Thank you for reading. Dare to believe. Again.