‘Brave’ – This is a word that keeps popping up when people talk about me leaving. They might say ‘oh you’re very brave, going by yourself, to a place you don’t really know anyone’. I’m not sure about this because I don’t feel very brave! In fact, as my leaving date gets nearer, I’m starting to feel a little more excited but also a little scared too.
I think my biggest realisation is that there will be no-one on the other side when I get there. And not just when I arrive but if I move cities or basically go anywhere. And I’ll have to make every decision by myself for myself – okay, FYI I’m super indecisive. But this is part of the reason I want to go, I want to challenge myself and push myself – I know I can do it.
I keep flitting between two or rather three states of mind: (1) Denial – it’s not really happening which leaves me open to enjoying my time before I leave but may result in an uncontrollable mass of emotions hitting me all at once when I’m alone on the other side, (2) Rationalisation – ‘I’ve been away before’, ‘people do this all the time!’ (Which is true, I have been away before and people do leave all of the time but there are still feelings that go along with this and it’s better to accept and acknowledge them now, while I’m surrounded by my support system right? (3) Total and utter fear, which leaves my stomach knotted and twisted, with the rising panic of my inner voice screaming: ‘WHAT AM I DOING?!’.
But I just take a deep breath and think, well, y’know, I’m doing this for myself, because I want to live abroad for a year and further my career too. It’s sort of my way of testing out my ‘how to have it all’ theory – is it even possible to ‘have it all’? Well, I’m going to find out.
In a way, I really haven’t been that settled for a while. Theoretically I was, but inside, I think I was waiting for the next adventure and waiting for myself to acknowledge that it’s okay to live the way I want to, and perhaps more importantly, that it’s okay to say what I want. For myself, for my life, for my career.
Which kind of fits with the feeling that I’ve been waiting to live my life the way I want to. Maybe I’ve stopped myself because of convention or tradition or what I think I ‘should’ be doing, or even just being a bit scared of actually doing something totally different and unknown.
I mean, shouldn’t I be sticking with my steady job, working towards a promotion and buying a house / flat or living with a partner and getting married and all that jazz? Well no actually, no. I’m not doing any of this right now. I’ll do what I want.
The best comfort I have right now is to kind of accept and go with how I am feeling. The denial phase may have somewhat worked on a conscious level, but I’ve been having a number of very vivid dreams recently, or waking up with a lot on my mind.
One particularly vivid dream consisted of myself and my dog (Mai) being stranded on a desert island after surviving a plane crash (think castaway but with me instead of Tom Hanks and Mai instead of Wilson). My biggest concern was that I hadn’t watched Bear Grylls on TV so I had no idea how to convert my pee into safe drinking water, with my thought being ‘my dog needs to drink a lot of water’ – how will I look after her?
How bizarre is that?
It just goes to show, no matter how much we deny; feelings, thoughts, memories etc, it’s all in there somewhere, and it probably all means something and even if you think you’re boxing it away, neat and tidy somewhere else, it’s never really gone that far. I think it’s probably important to process this stuff – when the time is right – as a pose to hauling all of it around.
In one weeks’ time, I’ll be one my way to New Zealand, for an unspecified amount of time, by myself, and right now, I’m feeling okay about it.