In a way, this might be your typical New Years blog post; of the things I want to achieve this year, and the treasures and memories and moments of the last. Take it as that if you will, for me this is just something I have to write down, something I have to figure out.
Things are unstable at the moment; something I suppose I strived for when flying away from home, from everything familiar and safe, but in it resides the unrelenting fear of the unknown, the often crippling uncertainty. So many times I have heard the phrase “you get out what you put in”, about travelling and yet the months and months of researching, touching up my work, emailing, coffee after coffee, afternoon after afternoon of slaving over my laptop, pushing for work in this country, pushing for contact and connection, the pursuit of honesty, all that money on posting packages… and it has all fallen short to a big pile of nothing.
That hurts, honestly. I am aching and I am tired and feeling defeated and yet it is still on me to get up each morning and push some more.
Job hunting is soul destroying even in the sunniest of winters, even in the dreamiest of countries. Even sitting here, on one of the cooler days of December, in a room of 27 degrees, scrolling through the rejection emails for base level street sales jobs, fundraising jobs, dishwashing jobs, the silence after hours of typing up cover letters, it all hurts exactly the same way as it would if I were back in a dead end town in South Wales. Maybe that’s ungrateful of me, maybe I owe my past self more than this, for putting in the effort, simply for having the courage to step onto the plane to get here in the first place, but gratitude for effort, for momentum, is hard to muster when things are standing so still.
This week will be difficult to manoeuvre regardless of the struggles of job searching. It is becoming more and more apparent what being here means, and that sacrifices are necessary to make. I am holding on to the UK as a safety blanket, labelling it as Home and hoping somehow that will provide a comfort if I need to return. But holding onto that thread is keeping me from immersing myself here or making plans to keep moving and travelling back into Asia, possibly towards Canada, Alaska, the options are infinite and yet I am sitting here wondering how many weeks it’ll be before I retreat back to Wales. It isn’t fair on the people I am holding so tightly to and it isn’t the dream I had in mind when I planned this. Things are going to have to change this year, I am going to have to be more flexible, and capable, and honest.
Because in doing this thing and holding on to “Hi, I’m Amy, a creative designer from South Wales” I am limiting myself to a set of options which may not even be available to me here. I am making cheap claims to run more, meditate more, eat better in the new year but these resolutions will only last so long before I am dodging the rules and diving into the nearest supermarket for a cheeky pack of super noodles again. I have to face the wall right in front of my eyes; as hard as it is, I am falling for this freedom, these people, the sun, the beaches, the views, the air, the hostels, the ridiculousness to it all. The dream is to be a working graphic designer, events photographer, fearless travel blogger, but what if the journey to that point is not in writing quick witted, balsy emails to popular bands and design agencies, but in carrying food and dishwashing and being an au pair for the family I’m being interviewed by tomorrow. What if the journey begins with cutting myself loose to the wind and following where Sydney decides to throw me rather than clutching so tightly to people back home, to ideas of what I want to achieve so quickly. A little patience and flexibility is needed and I am ready to take on the next year in this way, starting now.