Looking out before me, seeing the Riverlands blanketed in near-dusk sunlight, I am reminded of how time passes us, how life leads us one place, only to direct us to another. My time here is ending fast, days pass quickly and my Berri hour glass is draining with the sand from the Murray.
I've spent two months getting to know this land, the people, and even more facets of myself. I’ve lounged in the treehouse while making some of the most lovely connections with others. I’ve laid in the hammock soaking up Australia’s winter sun. (when it comes out.) I’ve tasted the goon elixir and shimmied around the games room. I’ve watched Berri’s beautiful sunsets from the main entrance. I’ve looked up at the southern hemisphere night sky and watched every star burn bright. I've felt the blunt edges of disconnect, and I've felt puzzle pieces snapping into place as I feel the string of links connect me back together.
I stand here currently gazing out into the lands of the distance, knowing that pretty soon, I'll be floating away from all of this, taking a plummet into new grounds, breaking myself and my shell even more as I push myself through the curtains of my comfort zone.
Eight months ago, I was a nervous, timid girl boarding a plane asking myself if I could even do this. I was so unsure of myself, but ready to take the risk, for the fear of the unknown has only been told to bring the best treasures in life. I’ve found that to be absolute truth. Some days I look in the mirror and can't believe I've come so far. Yet I am here, more than half a year later, still head strong in exploring all the special parts of life. There's been times I felt defeated, alone, trapped. Somehow, I still kept on. If you only knew how many times I dreamt of coming home, how many times I looked at tickets to Buffalo asking myself if that was my only choice. It never was, and I'm happy I didn't decide to run home at the sight of discomfort.
For 8 months, I've been traveling alongside my best friend. For almost two years I've lived with her, and been around her every single one of those days. She's one of the greatest people I know, and had the pleasure of watching her grow in front of me... Not just in the past 8 months, but in the past 10 and a half years that we've been friends. We've both grown, blossomed, and managed to stick together through some of the toughest times. Every single day, no matter what, I thank my lucky stars for her. She's motivated me, inspired me, and reminded me I could do it whenever I thought I couldn't.
From day one of our journey, we talked about the day we would separate. Would it happen? How? We made somewhat of a pact to understand- no matter how, when or what it was that was that would be the driving force between us continuing our journey together. Still, no matter how tough stuff got, how distanced we were at times~ when the thought of separating came up, we would squirm and giggle at how weird the thought would be. I remember one time in Spain we had the chance to sleep in different hostel rooms~ and after sleeping in the same room for over 80 some days- you'd think we would've jumped at the chance. Not us, we somehow got the people of the hostel to move around so we could slumber party and stick together.
And that's just the way it's been. It's been one hell of a roller coaster ride, and I couldn't have been lead to a greater person to start my travels with.
Monday morning, I was let go from my job. I spent the morning upset, in tears over a stupid mandarin packing job that I was miserable at anyways. I didn't know what I was going to do, and frantically weighed the options in my head.
...I strongly believe that the Universe guides you exactly where you need to be. In my state of panic, I desperately kept reminding myself that things fall apart so others can unfold. As the day played on, the synchronicity of the stars came rushing in at my doorstep, and things started to unfold just as I thought they might. I listened. I spent a great deal of time in thought, figuring out just what would be my best bet. My options were quite limited, but I weighed them greatly before making a choice. The first was to stay in Berri, continue monotonous random farm work, which was beginning to be quite taxing on my body, and would just 'get me by.' The second path scared the absolute hell out of me, and that option was to pack up my life, and head out on my own into the world of the unknown.
Most of you know me from home, and the others are some of the people that have graced me along the road the past 8 months. Some of you I’ve been lucky to connect with instantly. But all of my connections, whether I’ve built them over the years, felt them in passing, or had an instant connection; I value them with my life. Anyway, regardless of how we know each other, you probably know that I'm pushing on the borderline of introversion. I've come to accept it along my travels, I find my comfort in the ones who I've been able to deeply connect with~ some with long conversation, and others with just a sincere smile. I know what I'm looking for in human interaction, albeit sometimes it leaves me extremely shy and inward.
Before I left, however, if you didn’t know me then… I couldn't even order pizza. I couldn't look people in the eyes. I was beyond timid and insecure.
I am proud to say, I am not that girl anymore.
While I am still figuring it out,, and still coming out of my shell, I've come a long long long way. So while I still lay my pillow each night beside my introversion, and am still dusted with a sprinkle of awkwardness, I am way more than the girl I left as. I have a better sense of who I am and where I want to be in this world, and every day I come closer and closer.
Therefore, the moment I realized that the option to leave Berri was the scariest, I knew that was the feeling of nervousness in my gut was my intuition telling me take the risk. To do it. To go. It was scary because it was the force behind all of this telling me there was something bigger out there for me. And I'm ready for it.
I didn’t strap on my boots and leave everything I ever knew for nothing.
I did it for this.
For the moment I could say “I am a warrior.” and confidently know it is true.
That each step in my life has brought me here, to the moment I could trudge more against the current and keep chasing every dream I’ve ever had.
To say I'm scared is an understatement. But while I'm nervous, and the anxiety hasn't quite crept in as it will the first day I'm walking around in a city by myself, I am equally excited. I know I'm ready for it, and I have a confidence in myself that I can seek out anything I want in life, and I'm the only one who can do that.
I know that I must do this by myself. What will happen? I have no idea. I haven't been this nervous since the day I stepped on that plane headed straight to Iceland. I remember one of my first posts on this blog, where I said I was ready to look my insecurities and fears in the face, and take them on. In this moment, I know that I’m staying true to that girl by setting off on my own.
Monday I lost my job, and by Tuesday, I decided I would leave the following Monday. A week after the initial stun. Also, June 22 - 8 months to the day that we left Buffalo. It’s been a lucky number of sorts while traveling. Mel and I both take it as a good omen. Fiercely, I have been getting my things in order. Packing up my life, perfecting my Resume, and generally “takin care of business.” :P I had one week to prepare. Physically, mentally, emotionally.
Of course, among many many other things, I’m sad. I didn’t have much time to prepare for my departure, so it’s been a whirlwind* of crazy emotions pounding through my chest. I’m sad to leave Berri, my Berri Family, the beautiful land I’ve had the chance to live on for 2 months, and most of all, I’m sad to be parting ways with Mel. We’ve spent the past days tucked away in her caravan making up for the lost time that’s about to be strewn upon us. Above anything, I’m really grateful we’ve taken the time to connect before I left. We’ve had some of those beautiful conversations, both of us completely reassured that we’re making the right choices. I noticed the one night, we started talking about the future, and both of us started saying “I” instead of “We.” We referred to some of the dreams we had talked about in the past, and instead of it being the both of us, we each took initiative to talk about our dreams separately. It was absolutely beautiful, and Mel~ I want you to know how proud of you I am. How proud of each of us I am. It confirmed everything we both needed to hear, that we were both ready to do this on our own. And I’m nothing short of happy for our separate journeys we’re about to tread upon. It’s a really amazing thing to have a best friend, and even more amazing that we’ve not only found ourselves alongside another, but that we have found ourselves on our own, so much that we’re ready to take on the world by ourselves.
So while I can’t deny that I’m sad to leave, I also can’t deny that I’m extremely happy. For the past 8 months, whenever the two of us would see the glow of the Universe guiding us, a general thing we would say is “ Life is strange.” What we mean, is that life is perfect. Life is ironic and beautiful, bursting and bewildering…. and it is absolutely perfect.
We said it a lot this week. It’s been one thing that kept assuring me of everything these past days. And I’m so excited to see where we’re headed. (Just don’t join the circus without me ;))
Monday I leave the Riverlands to go to Adelaide. I’ve always wanted to live in a city for a little while, so I’m going to do just that. I’m going to hit the ground running, and seek after some aspirations I have set after myself. I’ve truly accepted that nothing in my life ever goes according to plan, so while I have my mind set on some career goals, I’m excited to see what exactly comes my way. All I know is that there are doors and windows opening from every direction, and I have no clue what’s behind them.
But I am
and I am going to find out.
This video is from October 2014, one of our first nights in Iceland...
We missed the bus and drank stoop beers while we waited for a ride.
Thought it was quite a fitting time to post it. :)