17 March 2019

365 days

This time last year

This time last year I wrote in Letting Go about my experiences in transitioning away from home to start my new job across the country. Today, I'm writing this from yet again another part of Australia as I set out to begin my second rotation with the company.

Leaving Gladstone behind was not the easiest of decisions. After 12 months, I had started to finally find my feet by accumulating and building upon enough confidence in myself. Somehow, it was all working out. I had a great team, the work was engaging and always presenting new opportunities for growth on a daily basis and ultimately I felt empowered and supported to do what I needed to deliver. I was actually part of a team. Somehow it was all working out! There were definitely still days when I would hear whispers from that voice at the back of my head that would say things like things like:

  • You don't belong here
  • They'll figure you out eventually and kick you out the front gate
  • You're not good enough

I was doing well (enough) that one day I was offered a choice of staying with my team for the long term. This would mean turning down my next rotation to Tasmania, which at this point in time was not very far around the corner. It was a tough decision, and I couldn't fully wrap my head around it without reaching out to a few people I trust for their wisdom.

  • Do you really want to leave all of this behind?
  • What if you never get to be a part of a team like this again?
  • It took you months to get comfortable and settled. Do you really want to throw life up in the air again?

Eventually I realised that I had gotten to the point where I was comfortable. I had developed a solid routine at home, grew a supportive social network over months, maintained a consistent habit of running and exercising and I was able to meet the expectations of me at work. I was good. Why do I even want to move?

And then I realised, that chances like this will probably not come as easily in the future as it is now. I realised that the older I get, the more likely I will be burdened by a proportionally increasing amount of responsibilities in life and the more difficult it will end up to pack my life up and start again somewhere else. Then the questions I had posed to myself started shifting. What if I don't move? What else is out there in this world? Will I ever see what Tasmania looks like if not for this opportunity?

So I took the leap of faith, and turned down the chance of staying with my team for the long term. For now. I prepared for the move with confidence from the closest people I work with that I would be welcomed back if things turn out that way for me in the future.

Moving one's life from one place to another is in many ways akin to a plant being uprooted and replanted elsewhere. All the roots that the plant has grown into the earth surrounding it will no longer be exactly the same as before. Moving is inherently destabilising as all that is familiar is taken away and replaced by the foreign and unfamiliar - and the chaos touches every aspect of one's physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual life.

There are elements of sacrifice in this decision, to let go of what was and to be open to embracing what could be.

“We want to believe that our lives have some objective meaning, and that our sacrifices matter to something beyond the stories in our head. Yet in truth the lives of most people have meaning only within the network of stories they tell one another.” - Yuval Noah Harari

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