|'Tangled' the first artwork in my 'Dreamcatchers' series|
I was living in a nice Melbourne apartment with a great friend. I had completed my three year design degree with high distinctions. I was studying a new degree I was interested in. I had completed my cert 3 in fitness. I loved my job of teaching multiple group fitness classes a week. I had my own car - a cute little red Swift called 'Poppy'. I had partnered up to begin a design business with a friend. I was also doing work for freelance design clients of my own.
I knew I was lucky. From the outside I had it all. If anyone asked me 'how I was going' I'd enthusiastically say 'amazing!' and I'd gush about how grateful I was to be able to be doing the things I loved every day. It was true - I was living the dream. However, I had a problem. I wasn't happy.
Now, when I say that 'I wasn't happy' it wasn't that I didn't feel fulfilled or grateful or inspired by my life, I just didn't feel 'right'. I didn't feel right and I couldn't work out why. The truth was that I'd been feeling 'off' for a while. For a few months I struggled with my own internal demons trying to work out what was wrong with me. I couldn't find my sparkle - that glow. It was gone. And the more I pushed to find it, the more lost I became. I knew I had to change something. However, I was too scared to take the leap, leave my comfort zone and sort my shit out.
I believe that the universe has a way of pushing you in the right direction when you've wandered off path. In a matter of days, for multiple reasons, I suddenly found myself without a car, without a job and without study.
At the time it was the worst week of my life. I can't remember ever feeling such a sense of dread - of not knowing how I was going to stay in Melbourne without a job or study, of not knowing where to go next, what to do with my life or, to be honest, who I really was. It only took a week for the world I'd created for myself to collapse and leave me on my own. Vulnerable and raw. I'd invested so much of myself into my lifestyle that without it I was empty. Lost. A shell.
I now believe that this was the best thing which could have happened in my life at the time.
I needed that push to slow down. To stop, reflect and work out exactly who I was inside as a person - not who I was pushing myself into being through my lifestyle choices and what I perceived others expectations of me to be. Looking back now I realise that I was always 'switched on' - to the point where I was actually scared of myself. Yep, crazy right? I was terrified of being still and having to actually listen to what my body was trying to tell me - mentally, physically and emotionally. I believe that is why I was feeling so incomplete - I wasn't honouring or respecting myself. I'd lost my personal integrity. I'd forgotten how to be authentically 'me'.
It's been almost 12 months and in that time I've discovered so many new possibilities. I stepped into a new job which I love, I've made new friendships, I've tried new things and I've slowly rebuilt that connection with myself. I've learnt how to take time out and how to enjoy guilt free 'down time' when I need to - and simply when I feel like it! It's been a slow process and an interesting journey of getting to know myself again.
I now find myself at the stage where I'm ready to launch myself back into life - back working towards my goals and back determined to push myself. The coming couple of months are exciting me. I'm now strong enough to bring back some of the things which consumed my life 12 months ago. And this time I have that newfound knowledge that I can be successful whilst also staying true to myself.
I've freed myself from the tangle and I'm fresh with new energy, passion and enthusiasm. I've rediscovered my glow and I'm ready to share it with the world.