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Stop Separating Your Life Into Chapters

Stop Separating Your Life Into Chapters

I lived in China from 2015 to 2017. Those two amazing years provided me with in depth knowledge about Chinese lifestyle that helped me to open new horizons and experiment all sorts of emotions. The list of “what I have learned” is just getting bigger and bigger every time I catch myself thinking of it.

But when I was finishing my master's degree in China just few weeks ago and starting to get ready to come back home to Brazil, one thing that annoyed me was the fact that I was hearing so many times from so many people that they were ready to close that chapter (as a student in Shanghai) in their lives and start a new one.

This phrase bothered me for two reasons. First, it sounded very mean: “Goodbye, let’s turn to the other page and never talk again.” Second (in case that was not the intention), it was intriguing and had me thinking: “Is this really how things should be? Just because one master's degree was coming to an end a whole different life was about to start?”

As I arrived in Brazil, I realized that I am not starting a new chapter — life is just going on as a continuation of what I had before. Same house, same car, same husband, same friends. And that is all fine. I am happy with all I have, even though I realize that things have changed a little bit. My relationship, for instance, suffered the impact of distance, but this is how relationships are. Nothing is perfect. And I am happy in dealing with that and stimulating myself to make it work.

After few days in Brazil, I have already received several job opportunities (from private to public sectors) and am now getting ready to make progress in my same career and my same old life. I’ll be adding more challenges, more responsibilities, more courses (yes, I want to continue studying Chinese, and, perhaps, my PhD...)I might even add a dog to my house. Or a child.... Who knows?

According to Taoism, a Chinese ancient philosophy, it is all about going with the flow, putting new “adds” in our personal stories.

[Related: Why I'm Over Work-Life Balance... And What I Do Instead]

So, no, I don’t think is right to separate life into chapters that segregate our experiences into compartments that bring us an obligation of change. Rather, I believe that change comes softly. Progress comes slowly. Time is the master, and things do not come when we want.

I then realized that those who were obsessively speaking about making a radical change and starting a whole new chapter in their lives are still living the same life, just as me, but they are feeling anxious. And their enthusiasm and anxiety will probably turn into unhappiness and frustration very soon.

Thus, it's much better to stop separating your life into chapters. Instead, choose to continue the one and only path of life, keep feeding your connections, keep working, and keep learning. Keep moving towards your goals (if you know what they are), or keep digging to find them (if you still don’t have a clue).

Life is not made of compartments. Try to look at it as one big experience. You will feel much more satisfied and have inner peace if you understand that you can continuously add experiences, stories, knowledge and people, instead of turning to another page and leaving everything behind.


Thais Moretz is an International Senior Business Analyst at APEX-Brasil. With over 8 years of experience in trade and investments, Thais has in-depth knowledge in dealing with different government authorities, embassies/consulates, and business sectors. 

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