A(nother) fresh start

by - March 01, 2016

It’s been exactly four months and 13 days since I pulled up in the driveway of my new home - 917km away from my family, friends and colleagues back home.  That’s 136 days or 3264 hours if you were wondering.

Given my absence from these pages - which were all set to be my coping mechanism while I adjusted to the new norm - I think it’s pretty safe to say the transition hasn’t been an easy one. In fact it’s been bloody tough.

But while I’ve moved almost 1000km away from my old life, I’ve also moved 1000km closer to the reason I left all of that behind, my wonderful boyfriend Matt. The poor guy has had to put up with some pretty free-flowing tears these last four months, I’d say on an almost daily basis during the really difficult periods. If it wasn’t for his incredible patience and unwavering support I think it would be safe to say I’d almost certainly be back in Sydney with a broken heart.

But I'm not; I'm here and I'm 100% committed to giving my new life my best shot which is why I've decided to take charge of my own happiness and start living the life I want to live.

Matt & I at a friend's wedding this year
When I decided to move and give our relationship a real chance I knew it would mean saying goodbye to my friends, family and colleagues; my cozy little apartment where I had lived alone for the past eight years, and; the amazing work-life balance that I had worked so hard to create. When so much in my life was set to completely change, I was adamant that I would try to keep at least one constant in my life which is why I lobbied so hard for a transfer within my company.

It took weeks of negotiation on my behalf but I managed to land what seemed like a dream job which I was due to start just a week after moving into my new home and starting my new life. Sounds like a good idea, right? Well, in theory it was but in hindsight I think not giving myself enough time to "settle" into my new life was a big mistake.

I knew pretty early on that things didn't "feel right" but I just put it down to all the change that was going on in my life. A couple of months in, we hit Christmas and things seemed to go from bad to worse. Suddenly the thought of going in to the office was filling me with anxiety but because I was "the new girl" I was the one holding the fort at work over Christmas so I had no choice but to keep showing up and just doing the best I could.

But it wasn't just work that was bringing on feelings of anxiety - suddenly everything felt like it was too much to handle and it was difficult for me to see a way out. I knew I wasn't the woman Matt met and fell in love with but I couldn't see a way to get her back. I felt as though I was drowning.

It sounds dramatic but it was a pretty serious car accident in early January that jolted me into reality. Thankfully no one was hurt but my car was written off and I was incredibly shaken up. What transpired though was almost like an epiphany - I had reached breaking point and I knew something had to change otherwise my relationship would suffer. I knew I had to make some changes.

Fast forward a couple of months and I feel like I'm starting to get back on track. Instead of feeling anxious about a job I wasn't 100% sure about, I've decided to pursue my passion for teaching dancing which I was doing part-time back home. I've found a local dance school who have welcomed me as a teacher and this week I resigned from my day job so I can take on more teaching hours. It was a scary jump but now it's done, the immense feeling of relief tells me it was the right decision. Money might be a bit tight for a while but right now, my happiness is far more important than my bank balance. I'm back here writing my blog and I'm finally beginning to feel a little bit like the old me.

My advice to anyone out there who isn't happy with the life they have is to take charge of their own destiny. Work out what it is that will make you smile again and just do it. You don't get a second chance at this life so make the most of it and do what you want to do.

In his book, The Conquest of Happiness, published way back in 1930, the philosopher Bertrand Russell had this to say: "Happiness is not, except in very rare cases, something that drops into the mouth, like a ripe fruit. ... Happiness must be, for most men and women, an achievement rather than a gift of the gods, and in this achievement, effort, both inward and outward, must play a great part."

Smart guy!

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