5 Nov 2014


I look back a lot and I ask questions a lot. Usually this results in me putting a lot of pressure on myself and feeling extremely stressed, but it also gives me energy to keep going and reminds me to keep doing what I'm doing - especially when self-doubt decides to have a growth spurt.

Just up the hill from Margo's pad. She comes here most mornings for a walk.

I've talked about this before - the 'This Time Last Year, I'd Never Have Believed Where I Am This Time This Year' game. It's worth a go trust me!

This time last year I was in New Zealand with my BRILLIANT great aunt Margo. I was having a lovely time meeting third cousins I'd never met, but I was also feeling extremely frightened. I'd left a few circles of incredible friends, a boyfriend, an amazing life that I'd created all by myself, back in Melbourne and in a few days time I'd be heading back to the UK - a place which at this point in my life I held a grand total of zero affection for. It wasn't the happiest or calmest of transition periods.

I came home. It was hard. Probably the lowest ebb of my life so far. Which is quite difficult to admit because I feel ungrateful saying it. I know I'm lucky, and I love my friends and my family. But it was like having lived in a circle my whole life, whilst tasting what life in other shapes was like whilst backpacking. Then living abroad, I lived in a shape I never even knew existed.

Having to go back to that familiar old circle was like trying to push two magnets together. I tried and tried, but simultaneously resisted and resisted. And as a result felt very unhappy, hopeless, frustrated and alone.

However. I always knew deep down that Melbourne wasn't meant to last. Maybe I will go back one day, or somewhere new altogether. Either way, I just sort of knew I had to come back to the UK and grow.

Every single thing I declared I'd set out to do when I got home (this time last year), I've done - and then some. Truthfully? I didn't really think I'd achieve any of them.

This time last year, although I was forcing myself to be determined there was absolutely no cell in my being that expected I'd:

- Go travel blogging (twice)
- Start writing for websites and magazines locally
- Become the Editor of an incredible project, fulfilling by default a feminist fantasy that I never realised I had (all the Sub-editors in the project are women and amazing - I feel like a modern day Miss Jean Brodie)

Comparing the past year to Melbourne, I've actually gained more. I've met more people, I've worked harder (in fact I'm working harder than I ever have in my entire life… not sure that's a good thing) and I think I'm starting to let go of Straya properly now. I feel like I'm growing into a person that I can be proud of, and through the opportunities I'm taking I'm meeting more and more like-minded & inspirational people. I am very excited!

What's next?

Just keep going.

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