I'm Home, Mum
This past year has been one hell of a journey.
With every step I've taken forward, I feel like I still take three steps back and hesitate to go forward again. I get sick of my own indecision, throw my hands up in frustration, say fuck it and do it, just to freak out that I've made the stupidest decision of my life. If you've been following this blog at all, you may already have some insight into how crazy this has all been. I mean, when I honestly look back at this past year, I cannot believe the journey I've taken.
- February 2017 - go to Vietnam, fall in love with island life, promise myself I'll be back
- July 22 - get into the Nomad MBA. Quit my job that same day
- July 24 - tell my mum about the Nomad MBA and my sabbatical plans
- September 14 - the Nomad MBA begins
- Embrace this journey and commit myself to getting the most out of it
- November 21 - launch my website, brand, whatever this may become
- Start freelancing. Realise that I could do this full-time. Freak out that I couldn't
- December 14 - Nomad MBA ends. Realise I'm still not done
- December 26 - surprise my parents back at home
- Fall into a slump. Feel lost. Consider taking it all back. Book some flights
- March 8 2018 - Leave again; take a dive off the deep end
- Realise that I have no idea what I'm doing. Get scared about all the choices I have to make. Think about going back home again.
- Something clicks. I start to like the discomfort; start to thrive.
- Feel out of place and homeless. Start feeling lonely. Wish I had people to share it with but can't help but feel grateful for the people who have dipped and out of this journey and in my life
- Question what I want out of work - am I freelancing? do I want a remote job?
- Start building my confidence in what I have to offer. Realise that it could be something profitable. Settle into this new reality I've created myself. Realise that there's no way I can turn back now. Keep going. Keep striving.
- September 1 - arrive back in Sydney
I never really thought that this would ever be a possibility, let alone one for me. I was always the straight-edge kid and my biggest rebellion was cheating out of practicing piano every day or trying to sneak in extra TV time.
But now I've come back from a trip where I was meant to go 'find myself,' and actually have.
It's not like I can answer the question of "who are you" without any doubt or hesitation. But I know who I am right now. I know that I am finding comfort in the discomfort of not knowing.
And, to me, that has been the secret to this whole 'life' thing.
We will never have it all figured out and we will always feel like we're doing something wrong or should be doing something else. But that's just a part of life, of growing up and of forging a new path in this world. Our ideas of work and success do need to change with how the world and technology works.
But a new way of working isn't just about embracing technology or the ability to be location independent. I believe that this way of work is finally putting us in charge; fuelling the need for self-responsibility.
Against all this choice and all these possibilities, our greatest responsibility is for our own journeys. No one else will live it for us; and we don’t have to live it for anyone else. We don’t have to settle into what one person thought was the right way to do it but listen to ourselves and to our values to define what that right way is.
It's taken me a year to get to this epiphany and to find the confidence to take on this responsibility. And I couldn't be more excited to see where it takes me.
BUt i guess the big question is: was it all worth it?
I mean, could I have gotten to this point without having travelled around the world? Did I really need to take a foolish step off the deep end, just to do this? Maybe not. But as part of this new mentality I'm now subscribed to, I don't want to dwell on what could have or might have been.
This journey - however fraught and scary and exciting and wrong it may have been - has in been the best thing I've ever done for myself. I will never take back a single experience I’ve had. I know, in some way, shape or form both the incredible things I’ve got to do and the fuckups I’ve had have all been part of this journey. And no kidding it has been so hard to accept that this is life at its most raw.
But it’s through this hardship and through this discomfort, I can honestly look back and know that I did this.
I realise that this was no easy feat; that it was weird and wonderful and strange and difficult to explain; that while I wanted to diminish the “bravery” it took or that no one else was doing it; it still was a pretty crazy thing to do.
And I know this is only the beginning. I will always be on this quest to discover more about myself and question my ways of thinking and how they fit into this world. I will never stop tinkering away at designing a life that is good for the person I am at each point in my life.
I’m not any of the clichés about quitting my job to travel or a gap year or some 'bucketlist bombshell' who earns off my blog. I’m just me, Tiff, a girl who’s travelled and will continue to. I'm a woman who’s gaining confidence in all the aspects of herself, who knows her worth, who knows her values and wants them to align with a life that will make them shine.
But I am closing off this part of the journey. I'm home now, mum. Not because I'm in Sydney but because I've found peace in myself and where I am; because I've found confidence to create my home no matter where I am for the person that I am.