Now let us go to the next gritty part… My Inital Hell-y Stages in Bulgaria… Here is a cheapo picture I had put together so you can better understand the feels of my next paragraph. Hahaha.
Let us break down the “Stages Of Nix” during the first two weeks of her arrival in Sofia, Bulgaria:
Warning: This dramatic expose only pertains to the first two weeks in Sofia. I may have survived on willed smiles despite the inner feels. But here’s a hint: Things eventually got better. That’s the secret to shitty situations… They always do. ;)
1.) At first I was curious. The only things I knew about Bulgaria were two light tidbits: First, it was where Durmstrang school of wizardry is located where Viktor Krum goes to. [Harry Potter Pothead right here. Haha] And second, it was where the very pretty, one of my ultimate girl crushes, Nina Dobrev, originated from. So I definitely was looking forward to know more things about Bulgaria.
2.) I was ecstatic and excited. I absolutely couldn’t wait to actually LIVE in a different country all on my own. I have travelled to other countries before, but this was a way bigger step. I was looking forward to integrating in the Bulgarian community with all the GIGIL (in English it is that feeling of absolute “I have to crush this little cat to death via intense deathlock”) in the world.
3.) Culture Shock. As always when you travel, you learn more things about the world. And Bulgaria was definitely a great place to visit since it was WAY different than what I was used to. The alphabet itself is already amusing for me. The language sounded so crisp and mafia-ish, I love it so much. Haha. Everything just gave me a sense of wonderment cause everything was new to me.
4.) Occasional bouts of sadness due to initial loneliness. Sad little honest bit of truth? I had initially expected that AIESEC-ers in Sofia would make me feel more welcome. Instead, during the first two meetings, I was the shy little dumpling that only got to speak to a few people. Cause most of them were only talking to fellow Bulgarians. I have a fault on this as well because I got used to the AIESEC-ers in the Philippines who are way too accommodating. No offense to my friends from UNWE, but it is in their culture to prefer their AIESEC EPs to be more proactive. :)
5.) Kim Kardashian-level meltdown of utmost crisis. HAHAHA. I was lonely (at the time my other fellow interns Munir and Adria weren’t there yet. I had a few friends though, but at times they were busy cause of school and work), My job at the foundation wasn’t panning out how I expected (I was only doing paper mache masks for an adult theatre play for two straight weeks), My bank: METROBANK frigging BLOCKED MY CARD because according to them I tried to withdraw in 4 different countries (Amsterdam, Norway, Germany and Bulgaria) so they instantly assumed that someone stole my card and blocked it without my permission. Which meant that I was sad, lonely, doing boring work, and constantly frustrated over METROBANK for having sucky customer service. I spent a lot of Levas (Bulgarian currency) calling them internationally and despite that, I still couldn’t access my money. So yes, I went Kim Kardashian, every night and when I’m alone. Under the covers. Oh and at one point, I even snapped at a Bulgarian friend (SORRY ROSEN!! I love you! haha) who didn’t think I was serious when I was sharing my problem and ended up crying in the middle of the street. Damn. I don’t know who that person is. She may look like me but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me. Errr yeah…
6.) That baby was me. At this point, nothing was working out for me and I was seriously pondering on what an idiot I was for having made a decision like this and only ending up with all of it exploding in my face. There were more issues that I was dealing with both in and outside of Bulgaria, but let’s not get into details anymore. Haha. I was thisclose to telling my mom I wanted to come home and just spend the rest of my days in Norway instead of the mess I was in. To be honest, the way I felt at the time? I felt like I was Britney Spears circa 2007. Read to shave her head out of sheer insanity.
I took a long walk around Studenski Grad (the student city where I lived) and sat down at a random bench that was a bit secluded where I could enjoy another ugly cry session in private. The area I was in had wifi and I was able to connect, hoping to FaceTime with one of my friends from back home to comfort my annoying woes. Please do not judge my rachet-ness, at the time, we still didn’t have wifi in the room. HAHAHA. So I was only online sometimes at the time. Instead of getting a FaceTime session, I instead received a series of messages from different people on my different social media platforms, telling me that they admire my tenacity of chasing such big dreams at my age. The messages were all of love, support and admiration at how they think I was brave and adventurous. For some strange reason, they were inspired by what I did and what I was doing. And then I realized… “How could these people think such wonderful thoughts of me and the opportunity I had while I sit here and ugly cry just because of a few setbacks?”
Trying times from the past brought me into a semblance of realization that I was never the type to give up. Even until now, I firmly believe in one of my favourite mottos, from Confucius: “The greatest strength is in rising everytime you fall”. I knew that I wasn’t going to give up. For my sake and for the people who believed in me to make it work. It was just going to be a mindset change and I spent an hour with my pen and notebook, jotting down little thoughts and tidbits that would aid me in my 180 degree change of viewpoint. I swear, I don’t even know how I was able to rise up from the bottomless pit that I and apparently, the fates have been digging up for me since I got to Bulgaria. But with a re-determined spirit, I walked back to my dorm practically pep talking the fuck out of myself that I can do this. I can make this experience one of the best things to ever happen to me, despite all the setbacks that are weighing down my shoulders. Because I choose to. Funny thing about choice. When you choose to do something with a “no fear” approach and “determined as all hell” attitude, magical things will start to happen. And you know what? It did. And all it took was a change of mindset and the choice to be determined to never stay down.
“WORKING IN BULGARIA” POST SERIES:
- How I Got This Amazing Opportunity
- Flying In And Spending My First Night In Plovdiv
- Of First Impressions And Filipino Misconceptions
- My First Two Weeks in Sofia Was Like A Personal Hell
- My Jobs In Sofia, Bulgaria
- Life And Times With Friends From Different Places
- The 30 People Who Made My Experience Magical For Me
- Looking Back, A Year Later