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My biggest adventure

Author: Birgit Itse
Year: Adventure

“When?” demanded my best friend. “You're 38. When are you going to live your own life? Chase your own dreams?”

The endless tears that I had been sharing over the phone were axed. Her harsh words and knife-sharp tone were like a slap on my face, but instead of pain, it felt like a relief. Like someone had opened my eyes and helped me see my life from a whole new angle. It reminded me of an actual slap on my face a few years earlier, given by a doctor just before they gave me an electric shock. “You are not closing your eyes!” she shouted. I was numb, but I obeyed. And I obeyed again. I stopped sobbing and looked at my life and myself through her eyes.

“You've told me for years how you want to write books. You've told me for years how you'd like to go and live in Scotland. How long are you going to wait to live your life? The way you want it to be? The way you deserve it? What should happen in your life that you'd see how amazing you are?“ Woahaa... Fast-paced words, like her life as an A-list TV and Radio Hostess, hit me like cannonballs.

For a moment, I played with the idea of feeling offended, but I knew these words came from the bottom of her heart. Instead of the asked 15 minutes, she had patiently listened to my self-pity pitch with a full victim-mode on for an hour before she burst out the truth. She was slapping me with my dreams, the ones I had shared with her. One after another was laid in front of me. Had I really abandoned them, or had I never taken them seriously enough? Was this the reason my life was falling apart although I tried so hard to keep everything together?

I had every single reason to be happy – soul-mate boyfriend, adorable child, I had a proper job with a decent salary, a nice car to drive around, most of the mortgage of my 4 bedroom house with a huge garden was paid, my family members and friends were well. Still, I wasn't happy. I was alive, but my life didn't excite me. I had already tried my absolute hardest to change everything around me.

What was I missing? I was being nice and kind, and surely I didn't deserve all those bad things that had happened to me in the past. I kept asking WHY ? Why is everybody being so mean to me? Why aren't they helping me the way I expected them? I did everything they wanted me to do. Why are they always telling me what to do, and not mind their own business? Why do I have the life I have?

And the Universe kept showing me WHY. For more than 20 years of my adulthood. I always advertised myself as a quick learner, but learning about myself had never been a priority. So I kept going back to that darkness of insecurities and labyrinth of self-doubts. Without even realising it, I had reached the point where I felt my life was not enough for me and I was not enough for my life. There was just too much of me trying to be more like everyone else by being less different. I believed that there must be something better for me, but I had exhausted my knowledge to reach that better, something that felt right for me.

After her monologue, refreshing like a dip in the North Sea, everything in my life felt even more wrong, and ignorance was no longer a bliss. Something needed to change. It was me. I needed to change. And I needed help.

Less than 24 hours later, a mindset coach she had recommended told me what I needed to hear to find the courage to dig deep into myself. “There's nothing wrong with you. You're perfect!,” she said. That brought up another conversation, a quote was anchored in my soul because it had given me wings, when I didn’t believe I could fly. “Perfection is the only way of existence.” A simple sentence from a private conversation with Estonian poet Doris Kareva had been a secret solace to my soul for all these years, and now, someone else believed in it, too!

8 weeks later, I had sold my home, left my job, packed my belongings, said goodbyes to my soul-mate boyfriend, and taken my pre-teen son to move to a city I had never been to before. I didn't know anybody in Aberdeen, and instead of a job waiting for me, I had my dream – to become a full-time writer.

After 8 years of dreaming and talking, I had done it. 30 hours before the arrival of 2020, we stepped out of the train, carrying two backpacks, two 25+ kg suitcases, and my full heart lighter than ever in my adult life.

I had finally understood that the “something” missing from my life was my way of doing things. I didn't have enough me in my life, so I didn't even know who I was. It has been an adventure to get to know myself better, as has been building my author's career in Scotland, where storytelling is part of the human DNA, and where adventures are in the daily four-season weather.

I came to Scotland at the right time. I've always loved to say that life is an adventure. Some adventures are like bagging your first Munro, some might involve getting soaked during a passionate kiss, some are like getting sunstroke in 14 degrees. Instead of Why? I ask How?, and by that, I'm able to embrace my life’s adventures, no matter how big or small, but also myself as the greatest adventure of my life.

I finally have life in my life. And I’m excited to wake up every day.