Happy New Year m’dears!
I kicked off 2019 having the best time dancing away in a kinda shitty club in Perth, Australia. Why was it shitty? Because it was pretty empty and filled with more than enough of its fair share of sleazy old guys. So, how did I have the best time? Because once that clock struck midnight (I say clock cause the DJ didn’t even realise it hit midnight till a minute and a half later!) I decided I didn’t care anymore.
This time last year I was going through a breakdown that I fought incredibly hard to hide from everyone – including myself. I threw myself headfirst into a different life because I knew I needed to change so drastically if I wanted to survive and stop myself from falling apart anymore so than I had. I don’t regret anything about the way I handled the past year because I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t.
The last year was about making a change and forcing myself to do things I wasn’t necessarily prepared for. I went to America with £500 in my bank account and had the best yet toughest summer I’ve ever experienced working at a camp before travelling the states and then moving to Australia with next to no money remaining.
I know I’ve been pretty AWOL the last couple months but I haven’t exactly hidden how overwhelmed I’ve been either. I was mad at myself that I didn’t considered myself “fixed” after everything I had pushed myself to do. Even more so, I was mad at myself for even thinking what I had done was to “fix myself”. I
think know that I spent too much time in the past year being so desperate to get away from myself and show people that I was changing that I didn’t stop and think about how amazing it was that I was getting to experience these opportunities.
At the beginning of November, I left Melbourne and the crappy farm job I had that was making me beyond miserable and moved to Perth to be with my friend, Molly, in time for my 23rd birthday. While I didn’t exactly have to best day (shout out to the dodgy hairdressers I wandered into cause I had nothing else to do) my birthday changed something in me. While I sat in my hotel room alone I realised that I had literally spent a whole year in misery faking happiness instead of actually working on being happy.
The homesickness began to kick in and I was incredibly tempted to pack it all in and head home to England right there and then but part of me knew my journey in Australia wasn’t done yet. I had just started an Au Pair job with a lovely family and I knew if I left I would be letting them down – and I couldn’t bring myself to do that. So I shipped off my outside worries (buh-bye [public] writing/boys/money worries) and focused on trying to build happiness, both for myself and the others around me.
The boys I’m looking after are a hilariously cheeky handful that have taught me to have fun without care and to get over problems after a couple of minutes. After all, you can’t go to a park with 2 and 4 year olds without singing out loud and being silly. They’re too young to realise how much they’ve helped me learn about happiness but I hoping the overload of cuddles they get is appreciated!
As for figuring yourself out? Step back for a while and just breath. Get as far away from your life as you physically can, preferably to a place where no one knows you and make your first priority happiness. Forget about people thinking you’re weird or silly and just think about having fun.
Going back to New Years Eve when I said I decided I didn’t care anymore. I don’t mean I became a heartless cow or had given up. I mean I strutted out to that dance floor and I jumped around like a total raving lunatic. I didn’t give a damn about people thinking I looked crazy, or that some bizarre social construct is telling me that I should be sexily swinging my hips. Because in that moment I realised I spend too much time thinking about other peoples opinions of me and not enough time just having fun and enjoying myself. I’ve done some amazing things in the past year and too many of those memories are clouded by my misery. Too many beautiful days filled with me hiding in the background and wiping back tears. For too long I dragged out the fears and insecurities when I could have just taken a couple of minutes to cry like a toddler before moving on and carry on having fun like nothing had ever happened.
So, at the end of the day, if you’re forcing happiness then you’re not living right. You’re probably putting too much pressure on yourself to look like you’re having fun rather than actually having a good time. It doesn’t matter what other people think and if they’re judging you, chances are it’s just because they’re miserable in themselves.