Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: best and worst

The sun is setting on 2013...
So today is the last day of the year. I know I started this year feeling pretty hopeful, and while I'm ending it also feeling hopeful, there were some pretty bleak in-between-times that happened there.

Highlights and lowlights were all pretty closely intertwined. As an example, I went to Canada and saw the Northern Lights, which was amazing, but I also got such bad gastro that my guts were seriously fucked up for months afterwards, and I'm still dealing with the effects of it unfortunately. There was also some pretty negative step-family stuff that happened, but the upside is that I feel closer to my blood relatives now than I have in years. I am incredibly grateful to be part of such a strong, supportive, and loving network of people.

For part of this year I felt so trapped - living far from family and friends in Western Australia, saddled with a mortgage, and being bullied at work - and yet now I feel so free - back in Canberra, not working, and studying full time. It's so, so great to get to do what I want to do, to think about what I want to think about. One of the things that happens when you're being bullied is that you feel incredibly powerless. You don't think there's anything you can do to take back your power. Well, as a last resort I quit my job. It was the best thing I could have done. Now I find myself wondering how one (weak, pathetic, and terribly insecure) person could have gotten the better of me like that; the fact that I can now ask this question I take as a sign of my returning inner strength.

I don't know what 2014 holds for me. I don't feel desperate to embark on it like I did with 2013, convinced it would bring me new hope. I actually feel quite calm, sure that whatever else, the year ahead will bring new opportunities, new challenges, and hopefully many more occasions for happiness. Fingers crossed!

Goodbye old year!

Monday, December 16, 2013

It's all good!

It has been over 3 months since I last went to work. That's a quarter of a year! But it sure doesn't feel that long ago. A couple of weekends ago I went to visit a heritage site where I had an upcoming job interview, and when I walked into the property the heritage smell hit me, and I felt physically sick. Soon after I had been contacted to schedule that interview, my eye began twitching, and in the mornings I'd wake up with a sore jaw from having clenched it in my sleep. It was pretty telling to have such a physical reaction. I know I'll deal with it eventually, especially when I start working again and (hopefully) replace bad memories with good.

It's been 10 weeks since I moved back to Canberra, and I really am loving it. This is the third time I've moved to Canberra. The first time I enjoyed being here, in a superficial sort of way. Then I went to Tonga, and on returning I felt really disillusioned about the place. The city was so radically different to what I'd seen in the Pacific - in terms of priorities, climate, attitude. Tonga opened my eyes to aspects of my own culture, and in so many ways Canberra did not compare favorably to a tropical island paradise! Now, third time lucky, I feel like I am in a much better place to appreciate all that Canberra has to offer.

I feel lucky. Every morning I wake up, and I no longer dread the day ahead. Don't get me wrong, I am glad to have had the Westralian experience, and I don't regret going over there even though it was a very difficult time from start to finish. I'm glad both that I gave it a chance, and that we called it quits when we did.

The whole experience is quite a complex one to process. As time passes I'm sure I'll be able to find more positives in it, but I am very glad to be closing out the year on the east coast. I joke that the whole point of spending two years in Perth was just to make me appreciate what I have here so much more, but that's actually not far from the truth.

It's a relief to have the sense that "It's all good!" once more.