22nd September 2019 - The Next Two Years

I can’t believe I’ve been living in Australia for 3 months and this is the first time I’ve been to the beach. I’ve been meaning to get over to the coast for ages but I just seem to always be too busy. But that’s a good thing, the whole point of coming here was to get my life moving again. And, to be fair, I did arrive in winter, and even though that doesn’t mean quite the same thing that it does in my home country, it’s still not the best time of year for paddling. Now that it’s starting to feel a bit more like summer I decided to drag myself away from the coding that I seem to be spending all my free time doing at the moment and visit my favourite ocean for the first time since I was last in Australia just before Christmas. It’s a Sunday so it’s pretty packed but I’ve managed to find a nice secluded spot with some comfortable rocks away from the crowds, within spitting distance of the sea. My current view as I’m writing this:

I was intending to update this blog much sooner after I arrived in Australia. The whole point of the previous post being titled “the last two years” was so that I could write a follow up once I was here called “the next two years”. But again, I just haven’t found the time and again, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. As you can see I’ve still used that title even though I don’t have the full two years left on my visa anymore.

Looking out at views like this, it’s hard to imagine wanting to do anything other than try to extend my time here after those two years are up, but I haven’t really thought about what I might actually do once the stuff keeping me busy at the moment comes to an end. I definitely came here with a vague idea of what I might like to do next but if the last two years have taught me anything, it’s that there’s no point in worrying about what I’m going to be doing that far in the future because so much can change in that time frame. Two years ago I had a very clear and structured year by year plan of what I was going to do with almost the next decade of my life. I knew exactly where I wanted to be, what I wanted to be doing, what I wanted to have achieved and who I wanted to be around me going forwards. But the life I’m living right now bears absolutely zero resemblance to anything I had in mind back then. Spending some time living in Australia has always been a dream of mine but I never planned for it to happen at this stage in my life. And I certainly never wanted to do the specfific thing I’m doing with my life now, anywhere, a couple of years ago. I actually left at quite a weird time - I missed two funerals of people close to me over the weekend I was travelling here, one was a relative who had been sick for a long time and one was a family friend who had seemed perfectly healthy the last time I saw them only a few weeks earlier. I felt bad for not being there to support my loved ones but it also really hammered home the importance of focusing on the present and living in the moment, and all of that crap.

So that's what I'm trying to do. And despite everything, I'm happy here. Truly happy for the first time in a long time, the kind of happy that I never thought I would experience again. And not the "this is sort of horrible but I'm going to stick with it and just hope it'll turn out good in the end" kind of thing that I had going on the last time I convinved myself I was happy. After the way my life got completely derailed in the catastrophic way that it did a couple of years ago I didn’t think I’d ever be able to pick up the pieces and keep going but I feel a bit like I’ve threaded the needle and found the only possible way through that nightmare. Don’t get me wrong, the damage that was done is all still there and the anxiety that I’m still feeling when meeting new people, despite how awesome every single person I’ve met while I’ve been here has been, has made me realise that the stuff I went through probably had an even greater impact on my mental health than I thought. I’m also still surprisingly angry about the situation that pushed me to come here. As happy as I am here, I hate the fact that something happened that was so bad that I felt it necessary to do something as extreme as moving to the other side of the world and leaving behind so much of what matters to me - I have always wanted to spend more time in Australia, but not in such fucked up circumstances. There is a difference between the anger I felt before I left and the anger I feel now though, and it’s that I’m no longer angry with myself. I’ve finally, properly stopped blaming myself for “letting it happen”, and I’ve actually forgiven myself. I’ve really started to feel good about myself again, I love who I am and I love what I’m doing and I think that’s the best possible outcome to the whole mess that I could hope for. I can’t wait to see what (the rest of) the next two years bring, and I’m definitely going to be visiting my quiet little beach hideaway a few more times while I’ve over here. Although after sitting here for long enough to write all of this I’ve changed my mind about how comfortable these rocks are.

Peace and love

© Cogmonkey 2019