In May 2013 I left my home in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and crossed an ocean to my new home in England. I did not know what to expect but I felt very brave packing up my family and moving to a place I hadn’t even visited. What has happened since has been a roller coaster journey of self discovery, which sounds pretty cliche I know. For most of my life I had lived in a pretty safe sheltered bubble close to friends and my family, and because of this had settled into the belief that I was a super strong, confident and independent person. Once removed from my familiar surroundings I learned a lot of things about myself and some of them were a bit uncomfortable. Like, for example, that I am actually pretty dependant. That is easy to not notice when you go out regularly with family and friends. Suddenly I didn’t have a built in tribe of loved ones and now my husband had to fill all their spaces because, as it turns out, I had been relying on them a lot. I also came to recognise that I am not nearly as assertive and confident as I imagined myself to be. It is easy to feel brave when you know help is at most a phone call away. Here I was having to deal with all kinds of new things and people and my backup was an awfully long way away.
I am not complaining. I feel very blessed to have this opportunity and over time I have come to truly love this country and the people in it. Part of my journey absolutely had to be creating a new group of people to love and spend time with and who I know would come running if I need them, as I would for them. As an introvert, that took time and was not always comfortable.
My journey has taken some unexpected twists as I have evaluated what I want out of life. I had gotten an education in interior decorating before leaving Canada that, upon reflection, I found I had no desire to use professionally. As scary as it was I found myself with time to pursue whatever interests I wanted. I got interested in makeup application and took a course to become certified as a makeup artist and I loved it so I took another one. I started writing, which I had done most of my life, but really focused on doing that everyday. I wrote a novel. Then I wrote another one and another one and suddenly it was a habit. I was a writer, you know, one that nobody ever heard of and never had anything published, but I felt like I found this whole new side of me.
Being so uncomfortable forced me to work on being the grown up I wanted to be. I made new friends, I travelled, I studied things that I never considered before and I am creative in a way that perhaps back in my comfortable safety zone I never could have.
I still have lots to do, learn, and create and sometimes I still feel like I am waiting to be a proper adult but even with no place to go most days I have the whole world at my feet and I plan to take full advantage of that. I refuse to feel stuck and remind myself daily that I am on a journey to the amazing person that I am someday hoping to be.
Welcome to the ride.