“The change you experience on your journey helps you grow. ” – MC
I’m excited to continue my relocation story with chapter 4 of the “My life in Germany” series. My theme for this phase was "Ok, it's not that bad. I can live and thrive here." At this point in my journey, I started feeling at home in Germany and discovered some ways to expand my perspective. There were a lot of firsts and growth moments for me.
In this post, I'll continue sharing some of my experiences in year 11 to 14. If you missed my previous posts in the "My Life in Germany" series, you could read about Year 1 - 3, Year 3 -5 and Year 6 -10.
Studying and working
The discipline and time management skills I learned while working full time and studying for my master’s has brought me very far. For the two and a half years until I completed my course in 2013, I had to prioritize my education over my social life and find balance with work. I enjoyed my study time at home or the University library in Cologne. There was something about being around so many learners that encouraged me to study more. Though it was tough to study and work full-time, my motivation was clear - I was working towards a degree that will support my professional journey.
Expanding my community
After being in Cologne for a little over a year, my community started growing and diversifying. I had a great group of ladies at work and in my private life who were my companions in this phase. The real friends I had supported me through the growth phases of my life. Although I wasn't always able to be an active part of my community, they understood and worked with me. Having a support system that grows and changes with you is essential.
Achieving financial stability
At this phase in my journey, I was earning a stable income. Becoming more financially savvy was an essential task for me. Firstly, I worked on growing my savings. Then I learned how to budget better and plan some flexibility for fun. Building a great foundation and learning through the process helped me achieve financial goals like pay for the master’s program I wanted.
Traveling and exploring new places
Over time, I had the opportunity to explore more countries and cities. Going on vacation became a part of my life. I went for my first cruise to the Bahamas and saw the most beautiful blue water I had seen in my life. Multiple, visits to California to see a special someone was also part of my travel experiences. I was also able to discover some beautiful countries in Europe - Greece will remain my favorite. Also, being able to explore Germany a little more, helped me appreciate the great country I was living in. I wish I traveled a little more and enjoyed time off.
Enjoying my life
A valuable lesson I learned in this phase of my life was to start enjoying life a little more. I know the definition of enjoying life differs for everyone. My interpretation was making time for myself, splurging on things I enjoyed from time to time, making time for myself and spending time with my family and friends. I had gotten so used to working multiple jobs, working full-time, studying and working, being so busy that I forgot how to put up my feet up and enjoy my life. As I write this, I can hear the voices of my friends who never gave up on me and kept encouraging me to have more fun.
Developing my Career
As part of my growth journey, growing in my career was a big part of this phase. I invested a lot in learning new project management skills, getting certified and learning from other project managers in my community. The size and complexity of the projects I led, increased with time. I was able to grow through mastering new challenges in my professional life. Managing more people and multiple teams helped me improve my people skills as well. I recently looked at my old Career orientation plan and saw how I achieved my goals and learned to accept change. Thinking back, these years were formative years for my career.
Celebrating another World cup
Especially as the current world cup is in full force, I have been reflecting on where I was during the previous world cups. In 2014, I spent time watching the games in Germany and the US as I was on vacation for part of the world cup. Something was new this time; I was supporting both Nigeria and Germany in the world cup. I was the passionate supporter of Nigeria's team in the office until they exited in the round of 16. Being able to cheer for Germany until the end was amazing. I will never forget the German Team's win and how electrified our office was during the games.
Moving to the US
It was winter in 2014; I started feeling the urge to take advantage of an opportunity and start making plans to relocate to the US. Moving to the US had not been in my plans until now. There is no perfect time to do anything. In fact, the timing of my move to the US was the worst time for different personal reasons. I had gotten very comfortable in Germany, I was loving life, and now I was rocking my secure boat. Between the decision the move and the actual move I had only three months. When the time comes, you will know, and you must listen. This is not the end of my relocation story- Watch this space.
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