As I wake up to the last day of 2017, so many things have already run through my mind: how I miss Bondi, how my life is not how I imagined it would be, but also how proud I am of what I’ve achieved so far. I’m ready for a new chapter.
I miss Sydney immensely. I miss the life I had and the friends I met; the constant sunshine; the independence; the possibilities of the life I could’ve had.
Most of all, I miss the fire a determination that I gained whilst there. Having been back in Birmingham for 3 months, it seems that fire has now been extinguished.
I took Sydney for granted, I see that now; using it as a new place to continue living the life I had before, not taking any risks or doing new things. I now regret that.
Seeing my friends in various stages of their Working Holiday visa, I wish that I had stayed to finish mine, even done farm work to extend it for another year. But shoulda woulda coulda’s are part of my life.
I nearly finished 2017 without being involved in cheerleading, and that would’ve been a disaster.
I went to Sydney Altitude for an Open Gym session, only to find a team of 8-year-olds practising for competition. I had mixed the dates and arrived on a wrong day. Embarrassed, I turned quickly and trotted back to the bus stop, never to set foot in an Australian cheer gym again.
Before I left Sydney, I spoke to one of the parents from Twist Xtreme, my old team. She told me of the trouble the team had gone through, how they were at risk of shutting down the program and I knew that going home was a good idea. I needed to help Twist.
As I finish 2017, I am, once again, a Twist Xtreme coach. I’m hoping that we can expand the team again next season because cheerleading is my life, even if others don’t understand it.
I never thought I’d go back to writing. I had always hoped that one day, I would sit at my computer and words would flow as easily as they had when I was studying in Lancaster.
A year on, Tralisty is growing (slowly, I’ll admit) and I’ve created something for myself that has truly helped me survive.
I spent 6 months in a telecommunications company, hoping to spend a further 3 years there, only to have it ripped away from me in a matter of weeks.
Being subject to visa restrictions is something I resented: it stopped me from getting my foot in the door, creating a career for myself, and gave me a time limit that I wasn’t used to having. All of this culminated in me just living an ordinary life, knowing that anything amazing would be taken away when my visa expired.
One good thing that came out of the visa restrictions, it led me down the right path. It helped me realise what I want to do, what I want from my career.
I want to be part of an international team within retail. I want to share the amazing shopping in England, with other countries. If that means that I can once again return to Sydney, then that is an added bonus that I will happily take.
Sydney felt like a stop-gap for me. I didn’t want to make friends because I knew it wouldn’t be able to last.
I learned a lot about friendships there, though. I learned that you can be thrust into an unfamiliar world and make friends; that you can choose whether you want someone in your life; and most importantly, that you should receive what you give.
One-sided friendships and relationships are never good. You will burn yourself out and they will rarely notice or help you rebuild. These toxic relationships should be left at the door. You don’t need them.
I thought writing this post was just a way of purging the negative feelings I had (like many of my posts are), but it’s given me a new fire. One where I’m reminded of the things I went through this year, and the ways I have grown.
I don’t want to lose the elements of me that I discovered whilst in beautiful Bondi.
I’d like to create a list of goals for 2018, and I will keep them private. My goals are no less important than yours, but in order to achieve them, I need to be like a swan – calm on the surface but working hard beneath the water.
Happy new year everyone!