I was so glad that I was able to spend Christmas at home. Christmas to me means family, friends, summer, water, holidays and so much more. Before we left Europe we were tossing up whether we’d stay for a little longer, or whether we should head home. I said if I was going to miss Christmas, I’d want to stay in Europe for at least another six months, but at the same time, I missed my family so much that I just wanted to head home.
The summer holidays of 2015/2016 was like all the others, fun, hot, barbecues with friends and family. We always had awesome parties for New Years, usually at a friends house where everyone got together to celebrate. This year I joked around saying “2016 is the year I become ‘Mrs’” as all the other years, he’d roll his eyes and we’d all have a good laugh. But this year, I really thought it would be the year.
I felt that we were getting older and after seven and a half years together we would very soon be ready to settle down. I felt like, I gave him a piece of me when we went travelling. It was something that he wanted to do for ever and ever. He had done it so many times before, and its something he was always so passionate about. I always thought to myself “If I do this, maybe it will encourage him to settle down soon” not that that was the main reason for me travelling with him, but I felt it was always there in the back of my mind. I never wanted to encourage that thought towards him though, it would only anger and upset him. I always thought that as much as I am doing this travelling for me, there is a small part of me that was doing it for him. To show him that I can do it and I wanted to do it, for me, for us.
These conversations with him never ended well. We always ended up arguing or ‘agreeing to disagree’. But I was so desperate to show him what I did. I did this, me! Someone who never thought in her wildest dreams, or worst nightmares she would pack her things, quit her job, say goodbye to her family and friends and travel, without a return ticket home! I was so proud of what I did, and to some, it might be second nature (like him) but to me, it was a massive deal. To this day, I still don’t think people really understand how big that was for me. A lot of my family and friends were so envious of us and what we were doing. But for me, it meant losing control, stepping way out of my comfort zone, quitting the only job I thought I’d be at for the rest of my life, leaving my family and not knowing what the hell was coming my way.
I am someone who is always in control (or some like to say controlling) I have control of everything in my life, and when this big curve ball was thrown my way, I freaked out. I love it, every second of it, but I still freaked out, so as much as everyone was living vicariously through my travels, I hated every day that I didn’t have control of my life as such. I didn’t have my routine that I rely so heavily on day in and day out. Routine is something that I thrive off, it makes me feel like I accomplish something every day and to have my whole life ‘routine’ out of whack was a lot harder than I ever led on to anyone!
The next couple of months were slow, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. After the Christmas holidays, everyone around me started to get back into their own routines and headed back to work. I was unemployed, did I like it? Yes. But did I also miss it? Of course. I was so undecided, did I want to pursue my dream of being a photographer after falling in love with it overseas? I had no qualifications, didn’t really know how to use my camera properly and had no idea how to get into the field. Or did I go back to full time work? Find another 9-5 office job? I felt like my head and my heart were in two different places.
Whilst I felt the pressure of my parents to head back to a full time job, I so desperately wanted to follow my passion. He was so supportive during the whole situation, although I think he was trying his best to persuade me to follow my dream. He hated the thought of being trapped in a full time job and ‘confirming to society’ and as much as I agreed with him (like a lot of people I know) I knew that I needed to head back to full time work in order to start my life again, and think about my future. I wanted things, and these things don’t come cheap. I wanted to buy a house, get married and have a family.
I received a call from my old boss at my old job. He asked me to go back and work for him. I told him I’d have to think about it, and weigh up my options. The thought of a routine and a comfort zone again really tugged at my head, but the thought of following my dreams and passion tugged at my heart.
Back to the decision making…