Republished with permission by author: Enkeleda Ibrahimi – Cyber Security Consultant, Community Builder & Speaker

This story isn’t my monthly cyber security article, but that will come next week, I promise. This one is an individual piece that I was inspired to write and share. The start might sound a little weird but hang in there as the end will make sense (I hope).

Last week I had a nightmare. I was walking in the streets of Tirana, and I got lost. There was nothing more in the dream, just that, I only couldn’t find my way and I was crying because I was so sad that I had forgotten the streets of my home city. Then, it was harder to wake up and realize that I was miles away from those streets (which thank God I clearly remember when I am awake).

I have been thinking all week about this, and I don’t remember a dream has ever spoken to me more than this one (I am even writing a LinkedIn article about it, I must be quite impressed). It made me think a lot about myself before moving to Sweden. Also about my friends in Albania who want to move abroad because they believe that they are having a hard life since our country is not as developed as the western world.

In a way, life gets more comfortable here, but less hard? Hell no! There is no way it gets less hard. First and foremost because it is not home, and never will be. You are always a foreigner here. You need to prove yourself every single day, and you need to work a hundred times harder than anyone. It takes lots of work even to make friends, and it doesn’t matter how many of them you make, they will never be like your old friends. I will not start talking about missing the family, the food, the sun, and all the homesickness stories that would take a whole article to tell.

The worse is when you start fearing that you are becoming a foreigner back in your country as well. When you begin losing touch with people, and you can’t recognize the new buildings when you go there. When you get so upset if you can’t find a word in Albanian because you haven’t used that word in months. Also, the first question you get asked when you visit is: “When is your flight back?”, which doesn’t give you a home feeling for sure.

Living abroad these two years has made me profoundly get a quote of Jim Carrey:

“I wish everyone could get rich and famous and have everything they ever dreamed of, so they would know that’s not the answer.”

That I’ll modify as a message to my younger self and all the people in Albania:

“I wish every Albanian could move and live abroad for as long as their heart wishes, so they would know that’s not the answer.”

Please understand me right. I’m not telling anyone it’s not worth it to move abroad. By all means, please go and explore every corner of the world. Just don’t expect that life will get less hard when you step on that plane because it won’t.

What’s going to change is you! You’ll transform from a caterpillar to a butterfly. You’ll get better, stronger, smarter, and you’ll reach depths of your soul that you had no idea existed. Above all, you’ll learn to be enough by yourself, because you are, wherever you live!

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