Being the prudent person that I am, I like to have all my bases covered so that I'm not caught off guard or unawares.
I make it my mission to predict every possible effect that a certain action or conversation may or may not have on a person.
I've become so good at it that I'm rarely surprised by people's reactions.
But every now and then… I'm flabbergasted.
At a company Christmas dinner, I asked my old boss if it there was a possibility that I could return to my old job.
Within year in which I barely earned enough to eat and pay the rents, I was left with very little life beyond working, eating and sleeping (it gives me plenty time to write blogs but very little inspiration to invest into them).
And so… feeling weak and homesick… I asked to come home.
My boss smiled, told me that there was always that possibility and told me to come see him the following week.
Resigned that I would be coming home, I expected my meeting with him to be one in which we discussed the conditions on which I'd be coming back…
I expected gloating, the seriousness…
Anything but the words I ended up hearing…
Unpredictable but not stupid, I thought long and hard before coming to the conclusion that I wanted to return to Madeira.
I felt divided…
On one hand I like Lisbon, I didn't want to give up on my goals and I wanted to keep on fighting…
On the other hand, I miss Madeira madly; I miss my family, my friends and quality of life that Lisbon can't offer someone who doesn't have money to spend.
My friends have all been supportive.
There are those who thought that coming back was the right thing to do, while others believed it to be a big mistake.
I so value the support my friends give me, you know they're your true friends when the last words you hear from their mouths are:
“No matter what you decide, I'll support you.”
Sometimes it scares me the faith that my friends have in me… at times I don't have half as much faith in myself, this was one of those times.
Right to the moment where I asked my ex-boss to return, I myself wasn't certain that I was making the right decision.
But I asked him anyway knowing that regardless of being right or wrong the decision needed to be made and it was mine for the making.
I waited for the “are you sure this is what you want?”
Or the “There's no turning back after this decision.”
And even the “I told you so”
What I got was far from my wildest expectations…
I sat in awe as my ex-boss named all the reasons why he would not assist in my giving up on my life's project.
“You set out for Lisbon with goals and you're not giving up on them”
He managed to put into perspective all the reasons why I left for Lisbon in the first place and honoured me with the highest compliment I could ever hope from him:
He called me competent… too capable to just give up.
Taking his time, my ex-boss helped me find solutions to the difficulties I have in Lisbon; even offering to speak to my current boss in attempt to help earn me a raise, an offer I kindly refused but took to heart for the grand gesture that it was.
Filled with mixed emotions, I was angry that he wouldn't take me back and at the same time grateful that he wouldn't let me give up.
I feel rescued.
For the first time in my life someone grabbed me by the shoulders and firmly declared:
“I won't let you give up!”
He’ll never know just how much that means to me.
Maybe it'll just be another year before I ask him once again to let me come home; at least I know that I won't be filled with regret if after that someone asks me:
“Did you give it you all?”