At one point in my life there was this elsewhere that started sounding so promising. Elsewhere was a place where I could find my dream. It was the place where I could do whatever needed to be done to fulfill my dream. Elsewhere was a place where I would feel useful. Or a place where I could start over, a place where no one knows me giving me the chance to be who I really am. Or the place I could go to just be someone else. Elsewhere was always this magical place that is not here where I felt stuck. Here where I felt like I was hitting a wall no matter where I turned, here where there was nothing new to do, no one new to meet.
I tried running to this elsewhere. Whether it was a different town or a whole different country. It was all good because of the novelty of the place, but it kept me hooked on the outside, so what I needed to find about myself, or become, or change within me, I could not do it. I felt just as stuck. Maybe even more. The walls transformed into language barrier, culture barrier, not knowing the place, not knowing where to start anything that I would have wanted to do. It was all very beautiful, exciting and very alien.
But there was something else that all these “eslewheres” gave me. I didn’t find myself, I din’t find my dream and did not suddenly transform into a whole new person. But instead I learned a lot of new things like orientation skills, or not feeling ashamed to ask a stranger when I didn’t know the way. I learned to act in spite of my fears because this elsewhere is not always a better place and things aren’t easier there. On the contrary, they are more challenging and they did take me out of my comfort zone. So I built self confidence, I got a whole new perspective on the world just by seeing and accepting the differences.
I earned time to heal some of my wounds.
I also learned that this elsewhere really is a magical place, but in a very different way then I would have expected. It is like the place one goes to after somethings ends. Maybe after losing someone loved and life changes dramatically, maybe after going through a break up, or losing the job one had for 10 years. And after a few weeks of getting used to the new way of things but not quite accepting them and still feeling lost, this elsewhere is the best place to go and spend some time. Not because it’s that dream place where all is possible, because that’s just an illusion. A really appealing and cheating one. But because one can really come back from there to a new life having a different perspective on things.
I had to see that elsewhere is not a place I go looking for something, but a place of wondering and experimenting. Not a place of becoming, but one of learning so that I can become. When I stopped running and looking for this specific elsewhere that was always somewhere that I wasn’t, I found myself. I could finally shatter the walls and break free, I could become that someone else who is actually the real me. But all of this wouldn’t have happened without that magical place of elsewhere and without accepting what that place is and what it isn’t.