It’s the day after Boxing Day and I’m nestled under a rug in my room with my laptop warming my knees and a thick woollen cardigan keeping the chill away, I can’t complain too much. I got spoilt over Christmas with lots of beautiful gifts and Christmas Day was spent with lots of laughter and good wine, the way it should be spent.
I have some good news. Just before Christmas I was offered a position with the Walker Art Gallery which is a prestigious and beautiful old Art Gallery in Liverpool built in a neo-classical style. I’ve been there many times and it feels surreal to think that soon I’ll be walking its halls with the sense of familiarity and ownership that comes with working somewhere. I have to admit that I feel nervous about it but I’m also really looking forward to the challenge and am so glad to finally be able to work somewhere where I can apply everything I learnt in my degree.
At the moment it feels like I am on the precipice of everything. I can’t help but look over my shoulder at the safety behind me and feel deeply how much I miss it. I feel like I have broken free from my comfort zone but I forgot that to do so would be… uncomfortable. I feel like I have had to sacrifice so much for this opportunity, to be here and about to begin the career of my dreams. The deep breath before the dive. I don’t know yet whether it was all worth it. Not just for my career, I hope that will be worth it. I’m talking about on a personal level, I have been so lucky with friends in Perth, that is hard to imagine knowing people on the same level again. Having in-jokes and a shared history. Starting again feels incredibly daunting.
I know I’m probably being melodramatic but it feels dramatic. I feel untethered. It’s taking all of my concentration to keep my eyes to the front and to go with the current when all of my instincts are pulling me back towards familiar territory. I think I’m putting too much pressure on myself not to falter, not to waver in my courage, not to question or let myself entertain any doubts but rather than keeping me on the path, the repression of all of these feelings is weighing me down.
I think if I give myself permission to doubt then perhaps I would stop feeling so trapped by my decision to leave Perth. I have to remember that in the end, it is my life and I am free to change my mind a hundred times over. Reminding myself that no decision is absolute makes my heart start beating properly again.
I do want to make a life here. I love the culture and the people, the landscapes, the history. It’s proximity to Europe and all it has to offer. Living in the UK feels like being connected to the pulse of the world. I feel plugged into it like a electrical current, it teems with energy. When I’m here I feel like a citizen of the world at large in a way that I never felt in Perth where everything feels (and is) so very far away.
When I made the decision to leave, I didn’t know if I was making a new mistake or correcting a very old one but I know now that nothing is that simple. I’m looking forward to learning a lot about myself over the coming year. I’m really enjoying writing about it all actually and I hope that you enjoy reading it. I’ve got a New Years blog coming pretty soon as is the custom so keep an eye out for that.
With love. x