For years I’ve struggled with anxiety, and it seems like the majority of people have either struggled with anxiety or know somebody who has. I am so glad that mental health is is no longer as much of a stigma as it used to be. However for years I have battled with mental health and it hasn’t always been this easy to talk about.
I’m a typical Pisces – a dreamer. I’m the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve, the girl who believes dreams can come true. The majority of the time. The fun side of me, the un-anxious side of me believes she can take over the world, but the other side of me believes with every fibre that she can’t. I am so fortunate to have such a supportive family who have always told me I can achieve anything.
If you’re anything like me and you have experienced a time when you have been at a crossroads in your life, or if you’re going through that now, believe me when I say it will work out. Two years ago, I was sitting in a little square in Rome with my mum. We were surrounded by beautiful restaurants, each with outside tables draped in red and white checked cloths. As we sat there sipping our Bellini’s, watching the people of Rome, an Old Italian gentleman walked over to us with his accordion. If we didn’t already feel as though we were in a movie, we were sure about to. He began to play, ‘That’s Amore’. (If you don’t know this song, type it into You Tub, it will soon come back to you!) It was then I decided I wanted to live in Italy, whether it was for 6 months, a year or forever. I knew I wanted to try it.
Everyone knows it’s not that easy to just quit your job, pack a bag and move to another country. I read so many articles about girls who just up and go, and as much as I admire these amazing women, for me it just wasn’t feasible. I moved back home after university and after about 3 weeks and my 72nd failed relationship, I was at the end of my tether. I had basically been in a relationship, or dating, since I was 15. I’m was now 23. Although I had a 5 – year on-off relationship which I treasure the memories of, the majority of my dating life had been rather disastrous! It was time to focus on ME.
After completing my TEFL qualification, I applied for a job in Italy, and within 2 weeks I had been offered a start date. For anyone who is yet to figure out what they want in life, believe me-it will happen. I had no idea what I wanted to do, I just knew I wanted to be happy. I had the idea of moving to Italy, but it felt like a dream rather than a reality. I woke up every morning and said thank you. I said thank you for my health, family, friends and happiness. I also began writing in a gratitude journal every night. If you have read “The Secret” you will be familiar with the law of attraction-if you haven’t yet read it, please do!
In “The Secret”, the author and many philosophers explain the Law of Attraction. In a nutshell, we basically receive what we give out. If we send out negative vibes (I know it’s so cliché!), we will receive negativity. When I was at my crossroads, all I would think about was how it wasn’t fair that my friends appeared to have their lives together and I didn’t! When I changed this mentality, stopped thinking about what I didn’t have and started thinking about what I did have, I instantly attracted positivity.
You don’t have to be the happiest, most positive person in the world-I’m definitely not at certain times of the month! I do, however, try my hardest to focus on what I do have, rather than what I don’t. I truly believe if I had stayed in the mentality I had and just moaned constantly about the negativity in my life, different things wouldn’t have fallen into place to enable me to move to Italy and live my dream.
So this is for you – the girl stuck in a dead-end relationship, the girl stuck in a dead-end job, even for the girl who just has no idea what to do with her life – spend this time focusing on YOU. Focus on YOUR happiness, focus on what you DO have, and believe me, change will happen.
by Samantha Russell