Throwback to my first few months in beauty school, I was loving the work I was doing and I felt like I was pretty good at it. I was having so much fun and enjoying every moment of training. Then one day we had a presentation about a possible career option for us. It was something I had never considered and never thought would be possible for me. But sitting there watching this presentation made my heart yearn to experience it. I wanted to be a success story, I wanted to be one of the girls in the photos. But it seemed like it wasn’t meant to be, 9 months minimum away from home, from my (then) boyfriend and from my friends just seemed like a mission impossible so I put it in the back of my mind. Always wanting to do it but accepting that it would forever be a “I wish I…”
Fast forward almost 2 years later to May 2016. I was feeling down, bored and completely uninspired. I had been broken up with (for the second time – different person) and I was in a place where if I didn’t make a drastic change I was going to spiral down a path I had zero intention of going back to again. I was scrolling down the TradeMe Jobs section saving things to my never ending watchlist when I saw a job in Auckland. Then I saw a few in Australia. It sparked my interested into looking at other countries as a possibility. But, then I started looking at rent, bills, transport and the list of expenses just kept getting higher and I gave up. I felt like it would cost me more than I would make.
Then one morning, literally 1:37am, I was staring up at my roof wondering about what I wanted my life to be. Where I wanted to go and what I wanted to achieve. My mind drifted back to that presentation. I got out of bed, walked over to my computer, updated my CV and sent it. Quite possibly the most terrifying thing I had done. I knew there was a high chance of me getting accepted which made it all the more scary. I went back to bed. I cried a little. Then a lot. Then drifted off into what I hope was a good dream. And after that, I waited. And waited. And waited. Then all of a sudden I see an email pop-up. An invitation to an interview – that weekend, in Auckland! I couldn’t say no, I booked the flights, sorted the accommodation and that Friday I hopped on a plane and flew up.
Now at this point I was probably the most nervous that I had been for anything in my entire life. If I got this job I was making the biggest move in my life. It was a serious life choice and I felt completely unprepared. I sat the interview. Passed the interview and was told that I got the job. That day. When I walked out of the building I didn’t know if I wanted to cry or scream or giggle or smile. So I called my mum. I think it was almost as hard for her to hear the news as it was for me to tell her. “I’m leaving mum, I’m moving overseas.”
The next few weeks were torture, I had to wait for my start date before I could book flights, sort visas or plan anything for my move! Finally I got my date and we booked my flights. That was the moment when all of the talking and planning and dreaming about doing this suddenly became very real. And at that point it was only 6 weeks away. The fastest 6 weeks of my life. All of a sudden it was my last week at work, then my last day. Then it was 1 month to go, 2 weeks, a week then it was “I leave tomorrow.” I woke up last Sunday and felt like my world was shattering into a million different pieces. Not in a bad way. But in a way that I knew from that day on I would be putting the pieces back together to create a person who was so very different than the person I woke up. I did a lot of things for the last time, making my bed, cuddling my cat, talking to my dog, hugging my best friends, seeing the smile on my mum and dad’s faces. Now I kept telling myself “it’s not goodbye it’s I’ll see you again soon” but the truth is, it is goodbye. And every time it will still be goodbye. Because I can’t guarantee that the girl who walks towards that plane is the same girl who will walk towards you when I get back.
I describe the feeling of walking away from my family and my friends as walking away from a piece of my heart. A little bit of myself that I’m leaving at home for safe keeping. If I could have packed them all into my suitcase and brought them with me I would have. But the truth is, I wouldn’t have the same experience if I did. Leaving home is something I’ve (technically) done before, but I was never far away from anyone in my family. Being on the other side of the world with shitty reception and an iPhone camera was something I wasn’t quite prepared for. It has made things a bit easier knowing that I can still send a message and they will see it when they wake up but it is not the same.
Today is my first day where I’ve had a chance to actually sit down and ponder about the last week. And even though I have had the most amazing week (blog post coming soon), today I feel lonely. I’m looking out the window of my home for the coming weeks and it’s all so unfamiliar. I know nobody here, I’ve never walked down these streets before, I’m in a world I don’t understand. Even the time right now, it’s almost 6:00pm here, but that means its almost 5:00am at home. That means I can’t ring my mum and tell her that I miss her or listen to my cat meowing and purring in the background. I may have only been gone for a week but it feels like a lifetime.