I’ll shortly be leaving the UK for a new adventure in New Zealand. 

As I write this, I’m feeling precisely how my friends advised me I would: it’s a whirlwind of mixed emotions, with bouts of excitement and sadness, particularly after some really hard ‘goodbyes’ or ‘see you soon!’. I didn’t expect the ups and downs to be as tough as they have been. I actually woke up in such a panic this morning – something that has never happened before. But I think this is all part of the process and the realisation that it’s really happening. 

Fundamentally, I’m an idealist at heart – I can’t help it, I just am. I think it’s both endearing and frustrating at the same time. 

As I’m leaving, I’ve written these ‘just in case’ letters to my nearest and dearest family members. I was inspired to write them after reading the book The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying by Bronnie Ware last year. Yes, it is a tough read because the book is about life ending, however the stories are told so delicately and with such great sensitivity – I believe it’s an important read. 

The book highlights some of the recurring regrets that Bronnie’s dying patients shared with her while she was a palliative carer. It shows that it’s really hard to live and ultimately die, without having some kind of regret(s). I think the biggest lessons I took away from the book were:

•Living in the moment (therefore making the most of every situation)

• Having the confidence to do exactly what I want to do in life (so that when I look back, I’m not wishing I’d done this or that differently etc)

• Don’t leave important things left unsaid. (And just because not everything should be said, it does not mean you have to carry this around with you)

I think it’s tough because whichever path you take, there is always an alternative. And just because that path is better for others does not necessarily mean that it would be right for me or you too. 

Often I find myself in two minds about issues or debates. On the one hand I can see both perspectives, however, this can cause indecision and force me to question whether or not I’m ‘doing the right thing’.

So the realisation that I’ve come to, is that I need to live my life as true to my own values and core beliefs as possible, alongside the lessons that I have learnt, as briefly mentioned above. 

With regard to the idea that everything should be said, ahead of leaving I’ve written these letters. Obviously I am planning on coming back – ideally to everyone that I am leaving behind, however, life is not always as ideal as I would like. 

So I’m saying the important stuff.

I don’t know how long I will be away, and what will happen both at home and in New Zealand. People say that nothing will change, like when you pack your bags and go off to university. But I’m not so sure this time. I think that everything could change – and this is not necessarily negative. It’s just a thought. 

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