“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche.

In the last two years, I’ve gone through so much.

i made the decision to go backpacking around Australia for a year. At the time of making the decision, I didn’t exactly know why I made that decision. When I left, I realised why.

Here’s an excerpt from my travel blog.

“I had realised that I wasn’t as happy as I thought I was. I thought I was going travelling because I wouldn’t be able go when I was older. 

I realised that I was wrong

I left because I wasn’t happy with some parts of my life. 

Sometimes I’d get panic attacks

What brought it on? Well, there were some people who would undermine me – I’d hear negative comments and put-downs, and it affected my confidence. Why they did it.. I have no idea. There could be several reasons for it. Maybe they didn’t realise they were doing it? Maybe it was classic transference – deflecting their own insecurities and negative thoughts onto me? Maybe they didn’t like me? Or maybe it’s because they’re a twat? I don’t know. I’m not going to psychoanalyse them. All I know is.. they were doing it, it’s not nice and I didn’t like it. 

I suppose you could say that I didn’t realise how badly I was treated until I left..? That’s not to say that everyone treated me like shit. No, no.. far from it. I have amazing friends and I love them. But I think I needed to get away and find out who I really was. I needed to define myself, instead of letting other people do it for me.

When Rikki left, I was truly on my own. As terrifying as that was, it was also exhilarating. 

‘When you’re travelling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.‘ – William Least-Heat Moon. 

Fast forward a year later. 

The year has been an amazing journey for me. 

I’ve met people from all walks of life. 

I’ve seen places so beautiful, it took my breath away. I’ve created friendships so strong that it’ll last a lifetime. 

I found my confidence. I found my voice. I found my bravery. I found love. I still haven’t found my iPhone though.. bastarding taxi driver. But most importantly, I found myself.  

I’ve learnt so many things about myself and people around me. I’ve come to realise some ugly truths – about myself and others. Irrational doubts and issues reared its ugly head, and I faced it head on. I’ve also realised my strengths. I’ve come to admire my morals, conviction and I appreciate my determination.  

I’ve realised that sadly, some people may not treat me with kindness and care. While I may not be able to change that, what I can change is how often our paths will cross and what my own reactions to it will be. There is a place in everyone that yearns to love and be loved, that longs to be safe, that wants to treat others and ourselves with respect. Unfortunately for some, sometimes that place is buried underneath layers of fears, old wounds, cynicism and pain that they use to protect themselves from injury. But I think being out here has made me realise that forgiveness is about choosing happiness over hurt. 

So.. when I come back, it’ll be a fresh new start – for myself and everyone. If the fresh start happens to fall on deaf ears (excuse the pun), then I will wish them luck, let go of them and go my own way. 

Letting go isn’t giving up. It’s about being determined to live life with the intention to be your best self. So you have to do whatever it takes to get there. You won’t ever get there though. Not really. But what you can do is stop being who you aren’t. 

In order to do that, you have to make mistakes.. and learn from them. I know I’ve made plenty of them and I will still continue to make them. I know I’m not perfect. But I do know that it’s important to take some time out every now and then to just… stop… and take stock of everything. Stop and stare off into space. Into the middle distance, squint my eyes and wistfully stroke my imaginary goatee. This is when I have my best ideas, my deepest insights, and realisations.  

Whatever cerebral understanding we apply to our lives, we have to remember that there will always be a constant theme recurring – our need for support and love. This is what I’ve found whilst in Australia. Support and love.  

The year has been a series of highs and lows. I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum. On one end I’ve experienced happiness, falling in love, passion, and all that. On the other end though.. I’ve had to to deal with loneliness, death, frustration, and confusion. 

I’ve been in tears because I missed home so much, and I’ve been in tears because I didn’t want to leave Australia. I’ve been a shoulder to cry on, and I’ve cried on people’s shoulders. I’ve helped people out when they’ve had nothing and vice versa. 

As much as I’ve had to deal with the shitty lows, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I believe that everything happens for a reason. The shitty lows have made me stronger, braver and slightly more emotionally intelligent, I guess..?”

Reading back on what I wrote last year, I could feel my heart constrict – that always happens when I think about Australia – it really was an experience. My heart also constricted because I can remember the pain I felt back then. I can remember sitting by the pool in Sydney, crying my heart out because the realisation that I had lost myself hit me hard. But it also constricts because I also can remember the warmth and the love I received when I was out there.

In the last two years, I have lost myself, found myself, fell in love, but then I lost myself again, and had my heart broken.. but I’m finding myself again.

And I’m glad I went through all that shit.

Let me explain.

Throughout your lifetime, you will lose yourself most unexpectedly, and find yourself most unexpectedly.

When I returned from Australia, I had a plan. I was going to do this, and do that, and then i’d do this and then everything would suddenly all fall into place.

That didn’t happen.

I came back home, and everything was.. still the same. I came back because everyone wanted me back into their lives. But I soon realised that they also had their own lives, and I only slotted into some parts of it and I didn’t feel complete. I had my own life back in Australia, where I felt fully complete, and I left it? I regretted coming back, and became angry with myself. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do with my life.

Others called it ‘The holiday blues.’ I don’t know what it was, but it was fucking depressing. I lost myself again. I felt alone, even though I was surrounded by people who loved me. I think it was because I left my heart back there. I cried for a long time. I felt stuck.

My saving grace came into a form of a job. For those who know me well, will know how much I love working. This finally gave me a purpose.

I had to get up and go to work. I had to use my brain. I had to be productive.. and I loved it. This in turn spurred me on to enrol on a course. Slowly but surely, I began to build myself up – I gained my confidence, and I trusted my abilities.. I was starting to find myself. I realised you cannot find peace by avoiding life.  Life spins with unexpected changes; so instead of avoiding it, take every change and experience as a challenge for growth.  Either it will give you what you want or it will teach you what the next step is.

Then my heart got broken. Now, I won’t go into details of what happened, except that it was obviously a painful experience. But instead of letting it destroy me and turn me into a bitter person, I decided to look at the positives of it. I decided to not dwell on the fact that we were no longer together, but appreciate the fact that we were given the opportunity to be together, and learnt so much from each other.

“Not everything is supposed to become something beautiful and long-lasting. Sometimes people come into your life to show you what is right and what is wrong, to show you who you can be, to teach you to love yourself, to make you feel better for a little while, or to just be someone to walk with at night and spill your life to. Not everyone is going to stay forever, and we still have to keep on going and thank them for what they’ve given us.” – Emery Allen.

I hate being sad. It’s not who I am. I thrive on happiness. I love being a twat. My twattiness seems to bring happiness to people. It’s a win-win situation. I will always strive to be positive. A happy person is not a person who is always in a good situation, but a person who always has a good attitude in every situation.

Whilst having a drink with a friend in a pub, he said something that struck a chord with me.

“Rome was not built in a day. To build something that lasts for ever, you must build brick by brick. Eventually, you’ll end up with a  colosseum or ruins. But If you did not try, there would be just flat land. So either it is..

1) A colosseum to last for a thousand years. 

OR

2) Beautiful ruins that also last for a thousand years.” – Sebastian Cunliffe.

No matter whatever happens, it stays with you forever, so appreciate it.

Something going wrong in the course of your life may not make sense in the moment, but it will. Sometimes they’re the greatest blessings in disguise. Now, I’m not saying that the break up was a blessing, but i believe that everything happens for a reason. I appreciate everything I’ve gone through. It has made me who i am.

So remember that everyone suffers in life at some point.  Everyone feels lost sometimes.

Finding yourself is not a comfortable process, nor should it be. It is petrifying.

This period of confusion is the catalyst for questioning everything, for evaluating your life and your place in it. When you start asking the questions, you will find the answers. Just be prepared—your answers may not be the answers you want, but they are always the answers you need

The key is using your experiences to grow.  When you apply what you’re learning to your future choices and actions, you move forward not backward.  You become stronger and wiser.  It’s not easy, but it’s worth it in the end.

I trust I am where I am supposed to be, and I will end up where I am meant to be.

This is your one life. It would be a tragedy to never discover yourself.

You can’t discover yourself unless you look for yourself, so get lost.

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