So it’s been another short while since I uploaded a post, and when that happens, it’s either because real life gets busy, or for whatever reason, it becomes difficult to write about.
This time, it was the latter.
As I so excitedly expressed in my moving abroad post a few months ago, my plan was to stay in Australia for hopefully up to 2 years, work, travel and essentially be free to live The Dream.
However, after 2 and a half months, I realised that where I really wanted to be… was at home.
Correction: Where I needed to be, was at home.
I’ve been open about my issues with anxiety before on Wide-Eyed Wanderer. There was the bizarre and confusing anxiety that I experienced before my trip, as well as the crippling and exhausting anxiety while I was working in sales, in Perth and around Queensland. But this one was hard to be open about, because I had a tough time understanding it and was very taken aback by it. I’m still trying to understand, process and come to terms with it, even now as I’m writing this post, and I feel very vulnerable in trying to express these next thoughts and feelings.
I was certain that when I’d quit that job, my anxiety would decrease and my life would be like honey-drizzled roses, and for a while… it was.
I was feeling a lot happier and freer than I had been in a while, and I was hopeful and optimistic about the near future. I was in Melbourne, a city that I knew I would love (which I did), hanging out with new and old friends (which was fun), getting back into my childhood hobbies of footie and running (which gave me joy), and searching for a job that would be a better fit for me than the last.
But bit by bit, anxiety started creeping back in, letting me know that she was always around and wasn’t going to disappear so easily.
I tried to ignore her, hoping that she would go away by herself, but she was very adamant about me knowing that I couldn’t just wish her away. And then she brought over her friend and my old sparring partner, depression, to prove to me that I was out-numbered and that I’d need reinforcement to deal with them. Which surprised and frustrated me because our battles had been long and exhausting and I thought that I had already gotten rid of him, once and for all.
But here he showed up again so clearly, I hadn’t.
And I realised, (this is where it gets way too personal), that that’s probably because, throughout my life, I’ve been trying to defeat him (and now her), by myself. And that maybe, just maybe, that is too much to ask from myself.
So, to cut a very long and exasperating story short, I realised that what I really need right now, is to be getting professional help for my issues, at home, with my loved ones around for emotional support and to have some much needed stability.
And that’s essentially why I decided to come home early from travelling.
Because while I love travel and want it to be a part of my life, there are some things that I value more. Especially right now.
My mental health and taking care of myself, need to be more important to me than crossing items off a bucket list. And without getting into exactly why (because I’m seriously in danger of over sharing), it’s something that I probably should have done a long time ago.
Not to mention that as a result of all this, I had reached a point where the idea of traveling right now simply didn’t excite me anymore, and regardless of the reason why, that’s usually a good indicator that it’s time to go home.
It’s admittedly kind of sad and disappointing to me that this is how My Grand Aussie Adventure ended up playing out, and I’m still trying very hard to understand and accept it.
It feels like a ‘failure’ in a way, because I didn’t have the experience that I set out to have.
But I guess it doesn’t really matter that it wasn’t what I hoped it would be.
Because only sometimes is an experience what you want it to be, whereas an experience is always what you need it to be. Even if it’s extremely difficult to understand how or why. At least that’s what I believe.
And while I was certain that my move to Australia would be the start of my new cool, exciting and envy-worthy life, and that’s not how the experience transpired, the fact that I decided to come home was absolutely not a failure.
In fact, it was probably a success and a breakthrough.
To acknowledge that I need help and to take the necessary steps to receive that help, was responsible, mature and the very necessary first step on the journey to recovery. Whatever that journey will look like for me.
And clearly, what I actually needed was to pay attention to my emotional situation and to be confronted by it. To become aware of what I really needed and the course of action that I had always needed to take. And that’s the experience I ended up having. Unbeknown to me when I left, that’s the experience that I actually needed, and it ended up being one of the most enlightening and insightful experiences I’ve had in my life.
So I don’t think I can classify that as a failure 😉
As for what will happen next… I haven’t got a clue, to be honest.
I’ll definitely be continuing to write because I love it and it fulfills me in many ways. That’s not even a question. But other than that, I assume that I’ll simply be building my life slowly but surely, taking each day as it comes. I have no idea how my life will look or what it will consist of, but I’m trying to accept the uncertainty and just live it.
I have plenty of posts in the works that I’m very excited to share because regardless of how my personal circumstances affected my experiences, Australia is blooming AMAZING and I can easily talk my socks off about how amazing it is. Seriously… I’d definitely want to go back at some point to do the things I didn’t do.
Have you ever come home early from travelling and if so, why? Have you had a travel\life experience that wasn’t what you anticipated, but in retrospect, exactly what you needed? Feel free to share below!
Be Brave & Be Kind,