By Victoria Reissner
Many times, I have asked myself why I left leave Buenos Aires, quit my job, left my family and friend behind to move to Europe. This was around 5 years ago and I would normally struggle to answer this question. For a long time now, I think I can at least start replying to this inquiry.
At the beginning it was just to get out of my comfort zone and explore what else was over there, on the other side of the ocean. In Buenos Aires, I was more than happy. I had a secure job in banking with apparent incoming professional challenges, in a magic city full of options and love ones just one hour away on my car – but I was wondering every day what would happen if I changed all that for an adventure of starting a “new” life in another country.
I moved to Madrid to study an MBA for one year with the idea of coming back after if I didn’t adapt to the new environment (even when the language was the same). It was my own mental insurance to give myself the comfort I needed in case things didn’t turn out to be as I was expecting. The master was good. I found a job in a bank and I was doing what I was supposed to with the degree I got in Buenos Aires (related to foreign trade). All good again. I felt that I have reached the same calm I had in Buenos Aires before leaving: stability. Everything was becoming predictable again. And as I wasn’t getting challenged by the language (since I was still speaking in Spanish), I moved to England, to Birmingham in particular.
To make the long story short, I started the same cycle again: getting a nice job, getting that economic stability that allows a human being to plan the future and pay for holidays. I don’t want to spoil the end of the story, but as I’m writing this blog from Birmingham, you may imagine that for the time being I didn’t move again. Having the luggage ready to move from one flat to the other (I lived in 7 different flats in 5 years) and the adrenaline of the unknown triggered my desire of wanting more every day – but also made me realised that the luggage just went from one little “bubble” in Buenos Aires to a new but very similar “bubble” in Madrid, to a new (to another language) “bubble” in Birmingham. Sometimes, the fact that I was reaching the ceiling in a city made me reconsider my original decision and judge whether I was doing was the right thing – if the decision that I took a couple of years ago was the correct one, if all the things I was missing because I was abroad (birthdays, births, Christmas and New Eves celebrations) are worth the new experiences I was getting almost every day. Believe me, it can be exhausting. Therefore, I decided to stop the judging machine inside me and just accept whatever the universe and the past and future experience have for me.
I left Buenos Aires because I was terrified of a life almost planned and predictable and I realise that, in one way or another, we try to get that “predictability” no matter where we go. We don’t have any other choice but to embrace those decisions that were taken by our brave selves and carry on. All my life, I have been very structured and I liked having things in black and white. I used to make an exhaustive analysis of every decision and list down the pros and cons. However, analysing everything and proving answers to everyone can be exhausting and unhealthy. I embrace the freedom I gained that day I took the decision to book the flight to Madrid – full of uncertainties but convinced that if we really want something it’s always worth giving a try. I embraced the unexpected.
Looking back on my story, I used to wonder what made me take the decision to follow my gut and go for it. I believe that it was the hard work and my will to fight for it. I worked so hard for something so that the only option I have is to be close to the end goal. If thing don’t go as we wanted, we will be at least closer. We can add another lesson learned to our list and start again. Sometimes, external elements interfere in the process. Normally those variables are out of our control, but we will be happy with ourselves for what we have done and we can plan the next move with more knowledge. One of the best quotes I have heard recently was “control the controllable.” We need to work with what we have and can; the rest is just fate. And because I consider myself privileged – coming from a country where not everyone has the possibility to explore beyond the limits of their own nation – I have created @women.who.fight. There is a very nice saying in Spanis, “Mujer bonita es la que lucha,” which means, “A pretty woman is one who fights”. That fight involves everything – from gender equality to the right to decide over our bodies and from our daily struggles in our communities to the obstacles we find when chasing a dream. The community I have created shares experiences from iconic women and content from women like us, who followed a desire they had.
Victoria is a passionate Argentinian living around the world. Currently in Birmingham, England, she has always been inspired by getting involved in causes that matters and that could eventually change people’s life. Equality inspires her. She is obsessed with chasing our goals.