It’s hard to believe that a year has past.
12 months ago I was manic with packing my life away, settling things at work and emotionally prepping to live away from all that I knew for an entire year.
And now it’s over.
And I have changed.
I don’t really know where I want to go with this post…I haven’t set time aside for a long time to put the thoughts in my head down on paper…but I feel like my journey deserves recognition. There is not a lot in my life I’d say I’m proud of myself for…many things I’m extremely happy about but pride never really fits with me. I think it’s probably because of my quiet personality and my own weird issue that if someone feels proud about themselves its a bit too showy (but I don’t feel that way when others say they are proud of themselves…my own silly issue). It’s funny because I feel proud for so many of my loved ones but don’t really allow it within myself.
I took a huge gamble in March of 2013 when I applied for a teaching exchange to Australia and to say it worked out well is an understatement. I packed up my life, said goodbyes to my family and friends (and my final goodbye to my dog) and sorted out my last few days of work and then shipped myself off to the unknown…granted, I knew a few people in town before going, but it still is quite a daunting adventure.
Everything was new. New house, new job, new town, and (having to make) new friends. I’m almost 40…you don’t really make new friends when you’re almost 40!! And, with being an introvert, this was one of the scariest things I was faced with.
The main reason I wanted to do an exchange was to get out of the funk I was feeling at work. Teaching, for me, had become too routine. I needed a bit of a challenge and I know I needed to grow professionally. In Australia I was thrown into a system I knew nothing about (still aspects of it I don’t totally understand) but instantly fell in love. My new work colleagues fit nicely into my life and it was just “easy”….the work aspect was hard, and for the first month my head was spinning with all the differences and changes, but in terms of who I was working with…it was eerily easy.
I just fit.
A year later and what I have come away from all of this with, besides saying ‘reckon’, is such a greater sense of self. In all aspects. It’s funny because just a few days after my arrival home I ran into a friend at the supermarket and he asked “well did you find yourself?!”…a question I didn’t really think I needed to be focused on during my exchange…but has been, in the end, what it was all about and one of the greatest gifts this journey has given me.
I know now, more than ever, who I am, what’s important to me and where I belong. I have realised that for the past ten years I have been living a life that is not true to me, my heart or soul…but boy am I excited to start!
And that is something to be proud of.
May you all live a life that is true to your soul.
Happy New Year!!!
~ Hugs and love ~