Passages of an EVS life

“…by the last day you will hear this message, you will have a third language, and you will have fulfilled a lifetime dream. So, this opportunity is gonna be worth it, but to get there… you have to stay and live here all this year. By the time you’ll be back, all the people you love will still be there and you’ll be able to go back home with a suitcase full of souvenirs and absurd moments to keep in your memory forever, so just relax and make it happen”.

Almost one year ago, from my small shared apartment in Almeria from where I could wake up every morning looking at the immensity of the sea, I used to devote a great part of my time dreaming of the adventure I was about to start. At that time, among the multiple random articles I love to read, I found some advices on what to do when moving far from home. It was then when I learnt that self motivation messages can help you to not lose hope when feeling down and lost in your the new episode of your life.

At my arrival in Nevers, the 1st of September 2016, feeling alone with my suitcase and all my hopes, I decided to follow the modern guidelines of self-coaching trends, get one of those apps on my phone to set a countdown on my EVS and fill my wall with pictures of my family and closest friends. Once I finished with the decoration of my room, and all my stuff were appropriately organised in its place, I sat on my bed, looked around and started to be aware of the change. Trying to escape from the sad feeling I sensed coming, I ran to my app, entered the date of end of my EVS and got the tough answer on my screen: 360 days left. Millions of thoughts came to me suddenly, some unexpected doubts and fears invaded me about my decision of coming here. To sum up, 27 years old, a stable life that was just starting back home for the first time in my life, some job offers on the background, hobbies that I loved, and most important, a feeling of calm that I never experienced before in my life.

However, this is my nature and I accept it. I decided to leave everything behind to look at the whole of my life, to take up the challenge again of fulfilling my dreams, but once more, you see what you are leaving behind and you wonder: how far is it really worth it? Determined to not letting my blue overtake the rest of my motivations, I recorded a message together with the countdown, to listen to every time I wanted to run back home and attach to my feeling of calm. Day after day, month after month, the need of listening to that message has been reduced little by little, drop by drop, until today.

Every big step is scary, but along the rollercoaster of emotions that I have lived in these last 11 months, I have never questioned my decision to come to France again. Just as I told myself in the recording, I finish my EVS in Nevers with lots of great stories about my life here, many people I can call friends and the memories of amazing moments that warm my heart. All my fears, all the times of nostalgia, all the troubles… were beaten by far by the love I received from my sweet EVS family, and the satisfaction of a well done job in Nevers. Nothing is ever what we expect, but that’s exactly where it relies the addiction of these experiences… the uncertainty, the dreams, the capability of being constantly surprised and the life lessons you learn on the way.

Now I start a new episode of my life, full of interrogations and shadows. The calm is over once again. I can’t complain because this is exactly the path I decided to choose, but I am absolutely convinced that whatever happens from now on, all the stories to come will build my character and will feed my restless soul. And… well, if I ever need to feel home again, instead of taking a flight to Almería, I can always call the people I shared my life with in Nevers, because now I can call them home.