Once upon a time – actually, not all too long ago – I stumbled across a quote on Pinterest that really resonated with me. It said “You will leave homes, cities and countries to pursue greater ambitions. You will leave friends, lovers and possibilities for the chance to roam the world and make deeper connections. You will defy your fear of change, hold you head high and do what you once thought unthinkable: walk away.” And that’s exactly what I set out to do.
With my passports in one hand and my dreams in the other, I quit my job, packed my bags and purchased the first flight out of this paper town to the other side of the world; A city famed and filled with castles, Queen’s and never-ending chances for new beginnings, London.
It wasn’t necessarily because I was unhappy, or because I felt a compelling urge one morning to just leave, but more so a compilation of many things, with the most prominent factor being that I had outgrown the same old routine that I have been living day in and day out for the last few years, finding myself consistently settling for comfort instead of taking risks and chasing after my dreams. I was part of friendships that weren’t built to last and settling for a relationship where neither party was truly happy but neither party wanted to hurt the other and leave.
Coming to this realisation wasn’t hard, it was brutal; and those first few months of 2018 were my darkest.
I lost friendships, I was out of work and I felt more alone than I ever had, even with an incredibly supportive man backing me during the lows. I felt like everything I did and everything that I said was wrong, and no matter how much I wanted to be understood I had this indescribable fear that I would just end up being another dinner party conversation with my truth being misconstrued and misunderstood.
After months and months of bathing in my own self pity I had to make a decision, I could let something like this crucify me or get up, shake the dust off my shoulders and do something about it.
So I started from the ground up, thinking about each thing that was weighing me down and finding a way to change it. Instead of moping about and worrying about everyone else, I took time off and away from all of the things that didn’t serve any purpose towards my own growth and I channelled my energy into finishing my diploma, finding myself an absolute banger of a new job, making new incredible friendships and mending bridges with loved ones.
The only thing left on my little list of things was to make those dreams of London a reality. At first I thought this might have been me running away from all of those problems that had haunted me at the start of this year like ghosts, but almost immediately I knew that wasn’t the case. Moving to London had been a dream of mine for years, since high school in fact, but every single time I would always find an empty excuse not to go and I was determined not to let that be the case this time.
You see, initially my boyfriend of the time was coming with me but a prior to the move he pulled out and it was up to me to make the decision, stay or go. I won’t lie, for a brief moment I was shocked, but I don’t think that I was necessarily surprised and I wasn’t upset because I think I knew deep down in my heart that our time together was wearing thin and it was time to step out of my own way and take that leap of faith in myself. I decided to continue to make that move for myself and two weeks prior to my flight we decided to close the chapter on over 6 years of love and go our separate ways.
Now, after having to learn how to stand on my own two feet again and become at peace with my own company I have closed that chapter of my life, shed my skin and taken a step towards something new. Towards fear, towards the unknown; and honestly I’ve never felt more grateful. Grateful for each devastating blow and grateful for each tear that fell down my cheek because it’s made me the person I am today and for the first time in what feels like my whole life, I can breathe.
I would be lying to you if I said that I wasn’t scared. I was. I still am. But just as that feeling of fear comes in like a quick breath on a crisp winter’s morning, it’s followed with a sense of courage and smile that sits proudly across my face knowing that when I’m grey haired and at my end of my days I won’t look back and wish that I had taken the chance at seeing the world, because I did, and I didn’t need a knight in shining armour to save me. I just needed myself.
Image source: Maria Abreu, Sabrina Mazzeo, Unsplash.