I had promised myself that in 2015 I’d be so happy I’d never forget that year. I never imagined all the happiness would miraculously enter my life at the stroke of midnight as the year would change, but that was exactly what happened: only a few minutes into the new year I was kissed by a man who would transform my life completely, getting me to move to a different continent and to change the course of my career.
The man of my life was Finnish like me, but he’d been living in the US for several years. When we met at a mutual friends’ New Year’s party in Finland, he was just visiting for the holidays, and we had less than 24 hours to get to know each other before he had to fly back to Boston.
We immediately saw in each other all the things we’d been looking for in a partner. There was just one minor problem: if we wanted to live together, one of us would have to move.
We both had great jobs. It was obvious that if one of us moved, they wouldn’t find a similar job in their new home town.
I soon decided to take the leap of faith. My boyfriend was also willing to do it, but I had a lot less to lose and a lot more to gain by coming to the US than he did by returning to Finland.
I knew that if I had the courage to move, I could fulfill two of my biggest dreams at the same time. For a long time I had been hoping to fall in love with a man who’d not only be madly in love with me but also willing to commit – and now I’d found one, and he was inviting me to share an amazing adventure with him. Professionally I had dreamed of being a foreign reporter, a journalist living and traveling abroad and helping the audience back home understand the world a little bit better. Those jobs are not easy to come by.
This was a once in a lifetime opportunity, the kind you just can’t turn your back on.
I was lucky in that I didn’t have to quit my job. In my company it is common practice that employees can take an unpaid leave of absence for up to two years if they wish to do something different for a while. The management thinks it’s good for the company, because people come back with new skills and new ideas. I had always admired their way of thinking, and now I would be the one to benefit from it.
If all else failed, I would at least have a job to return to.
So I took off. Starting September 2015 I no longer went to the familiar office in the mornings to do the job I knew I could do well. Instead I was working from home all alone, doing something I’d never done before. I moved away from the city I was born and raised in, across the ocean from my beloved parents and childhood friends. I started a new life in a place where I knew just one person: a man I had only met four times in person, but who had promised to spend the rest of his life with me after our very first meeting.
I was excited. I was petrified. But being fearless has never been my goal in life. My goal is to overcome my fears when I feel something is worth it.
This most definitely is.