2017 has been an amazing year.
I knew there would be big changes for me in 2017. I was in the last year of my Working Holiday Visa in Australia. I either had to leave the country or beg a company to keep me around. There had been many changes to visas making it harder for foreigners to stay, I was just a little stressed, to say the least. Just a tad.
But the first day of 2017 started off in just the right way, on just the right foot. I was in Tasmania with my Dad, wandering around Freycinet National Park. We had road-tripped through Tasmania, from South to North, passing by milk carton landscapes and brainstorming ideas for the year ahead. With the help of my Dad, I narrowed down three options.
The first was to stay in Australia and search feverishly for a job that would sponsor me. It was really uncomfortable interviewing for jobs because the deciding factor was always down to my visa. Being on a sponsored work visa requires a lot more commitment to employers than being, say… an Australian. The ones who obviously don’t require a visa to stay in the country. It sort of felt like going on a first date and abruptly asking, so…how do you feel about marrying me? Shall we go for it? Whaddaya say?
The second option was to make as much money as I could in Australia, then move to Ubud, Indonesia. I’d become a freelance writer working in an incredibly inspiring workspace community called ‘Hubud’ and live in a jungle house near a waterfall.
The third was to take the long way “home” (Vancouver) by traveling across Europe. I’d start in Romania and leave from Scotland, following whatever experience or country lulled me in on the way.
As you may be able to tell, I got option Australia. I not only got the dream job that sponsored me, but I also fell in love… with a Frenchman of course, because apparently, that’s what you do when you move to Australia.
Before I met him, or maybe just around that time, I had come to the conclusion that romantic love was some fabricated idea created by Hollywood. I actually wrote ‘Is Love an Illusion?’ while I was on the verge of falling in love with him. It felt like I was watching my mind melt into this strange world that I had no control over. But in a weird way, for once in my life, I didn’t want to control it either, I completely trusted myself with him. So I just sat back and observed it like an experiment taking place in my own head. A month or two after, I wrote about how I’d fallen in love with him in Free Fall. I guess I answered my own question.
I never thought it was possible to meet someone who could fit me so perfectly. I used to hate when people said things like, “when you meet that special person, you just know.” What do you mean you just know? But it’s actually true. The first time I met Mat that balmy summer night in Darling Harbour, it felt like we’d known each other for years. It just felt so natural to be with him. I remember walking home that night feeling so giddy, I almost skipped the whole 45-minute walk home.
We now live together in a beautiful sun-soaked apartment right in Elizabeth Bay. It’s so cool because when you’re standing in the kitchen you can actually see the ocean and all the little sailboats anchored by the bay. Our kitchen faces east so we get the first light of the day. The morning sun is so bright you almost need sunglasses to use the coffee machine. It’s a wonderful way to wake up though, I love feeling the warm morning sun on my skin as I make my breakfast. We also have an office! I finally have a designated area to sit alone and write. I am so happy here.
I don’t have any resolutions for the New Year, I never really do. I find I usually forget I made a resolution by the end of February. But, since I am writing a blog entry about the New Year, I can say that my focus is on three things:
- Become more patient (right now!)
- Get better at writing
- Take up pottery (or some other form of tangible creativity)
- Be able to speak conversational French.
I will be visiting France in July and want to be able to communicate with Mat’s family and not completely humiliate myself. Looks like my little anxious dog brain will have quite a few things to chew on this year…
Happy 2018 everyone!