I’ve been trying to hold back tears at work this morning. My throat is a little bit sore and my tummy isn’t loving me today so it could just be I’m getting sick and being emotional comes from that. But it’s a very strange mix of happy emotions and sad. As I sat looking at my Instagram (bet there hasn’t been an emotion inducing sentence quite like that before), I couldn’t help but be a little in love with my life and incredibly sad that things are moving on.
While I was travelling I noticed something about the way I viewed the world; I began to fall in love with how things smelt, how they felt, with the perfectly imperfectness of it. I fell in love with cloudy, rainy days in the mountains, with the bad smells in the markets in Cambodia, with the loneliness of travelling Vietnam by myself, with the stupid bike with the flat tire and plastic seat that caused chaffing. All the things that were wrong made it something. I loved the perfect things, but I was in love with the imperfect ones. They were what tested my character and what I noticed made the biggest changes in my personality.
I can’t deny the statement of ‘I was a different person when I came home’. It’s so cliché I haven’t wanted to use that so far. But I can’t think of any way around it. I was a much harder person, my heart had a much smaller capacity to love, and my walls refused to allow me the luxury of being in love with anything.
The world is an incredible thing to be in love with.
So where does all the emotion today come from? Well, when I came back from that trip, life was anything but perfect and it was anything but what I expected, but I loved it. I don’t think I’ve ever just relaxed, let my walls down, let my guard down and enjoyed where life was going like I did then. It’s normal I want to keep hold of that.
But things are changing, in great, wonderful, spectacular ways, but they’re different. That photo on my Instagram, a really lovely imperfect black and white shot of my besty and I on our last walk before she heads away, captured all of that. It captured how incredible being in love with the imperfect is – with the things that catch you off guard, that surprise you from nowhere.
I’m fighting back tears she’s leaving. And I’m incredibly happy that I feel that way. It means I’ve learnt to care deeply and not to shut off because it’s hard to say goodbye.
It’s easy to get caught up in life and just keep moving; we rarely stop to appreciate the moment of change, or how far we’ve come.
It’s not easy to move on from things you’ve left behind. Actually, it’s really bloody hard.
I spent several years looking on Facebook at people horse riding and competing. It was torture to see them doing what I expected to be doing. But just because it was hard to move on didn’t mean it was what I was meant to be doing it. It just meant it meant something to me. I loved competing, but there came a time where that wasn’t where I was headed anymore. It’s not my journey, it’s someone else’s. It’s what I thought was mine. But it wasn’t. It’s prepared me for many, many more journeys though.
When I watched my best friend get married and my little sister get engaged I struggled. That was the journey I wanted to be on, what I thought was what I was meant to be doing. But I was wrong at the time. It doesn’t mean it won’t be my journey, it’s just not where I was meant to be at the time. I struggled because it meant something to me, not because what I wanted was right.
Now I sit and see journalists ace stories, I see people doing my job well, I see people winning and making waves and I hear of good stories and I pine after it. I wanted it so badly to be me. But I know, deep down, where I’m headed now is where I am meant to be heading. I miss it, because it meant something, not because it’s where I should be now.
And there are days I still miss the farm. I still see photos of life back then and I miss it. I still get along with Alex. The last time we spoke it was like old friends catching up. But that doesn’t mean it was right. It’s not what either of us needed any longer. And sometimes I struggle with that because it meant something to me.
We all struggle to move on because it meant something. But staying put and chasing the past does not get that back. It doesn’t make it right.
We want to run back to what is familiar and comfortable when times are tough. When we see great change ahead it’s normal to want to run and hide under our blankets and let life stay where it is; where it’s comfortable.
Making things happen, being something, achieving something, satisfaction, love, being in love, travel… all of it is incredible, all of it is within our reach…but don’t ever expect it to feel comfortable.
You’re stepping outside of a comfort zone, that’s how you get somewhere. It’s never going to feel comfortable.
I imagined life to be much more ‘collected’ – a series of events which take place in a controlled chronological order. But it’s not at all. It’s often an unpredictable series of events, at times the events don’t always make sense. But you’ll look back one day and realise what those stepping stones, those branches that smacked you in the face, that mud which held you back, those roots you tripped over… were there for.
When you’re feeling the least comfortable, when you know deep down moving on is right, achieving is right, but you’re still stuck wanting what is familiar, think to yourself, back to a time in your life you struggled to let go and just think, what would life be like if it had never changed from then? Would you really still be happy if it had stayed exactly the same?
Would I be happy if things had stayed the same? No way.
I wouldn’t have a boyfriend who twirls me around the supermarket or turns up to work with flowers. I wouldn’t have had the balls to apply for the police, to start running, to study psychology. Heck, if life had stayed as wonderful as it first was when I started my job as a journalist I never would have left, I never would have gone overseas. Things change because we need them to, not always because we want them to.
Am I 100 per cent happy with where I am right now? No way. But I am in love with my life in every imperfect detail and every day I wake up proud of how far I have come and excited about what I can achieve… even the things I have no comprehension of right now. God’s got it.
But I struggle still to let go completely, to move on entirely, and to trust that there is a season for everything.
So on that note, I’m off to continue eating my popcorn and sipping my tea, waiting for that 2pm to come around and for me to race out of here in search of weekend freedom!