I've been back in Australia for just over two weeks now. It's been really special to be back with old friends, old haunts and the beautiful views and environments that framed my life here. Of course this is to be predicted. But something unusual struck me on that first day when I got to the beach, my jet lag blurring the edges of my focus. It wasn't happiness, or the excitement for the months to come that hit me the hardest, it was a sense of overwhelming relief. Relief wasn't an emotion I was particularly expecting. But there it was, it's energy firing through my entire being, forcing itself through my veins at a rapid speed, illuminating all the fibres of life that had been lying dormant for the last year. It was a strange feeling to come to terms with, and it made a few decisions for me there and then.
The last year at home has been one of healing. It's been a year of realising that to stay above the surface I have to be paddling relentlessly. In the final few months I really did start to feel like myself again and the year wasn't without it's positives. My oldest friend and I had fallen out of closeness over the last five years, and although we both knew the love was always there, we didn't talk that much and didn't know the intimate goings on of each others lives. Last year that old friend saw me in my struggle to stay afloat and made it her mission to teach me how to swim. It is emotional even now to think about the love and support she unfailingly gave me, when her world was falling apart, when her problems were so much more terrifying than mine. I can never, ever thank her enough for that. She is my unofficial sister and my superhero. The rebuilding of that friendship brought me an immeasurable amount of happiness and gratitude for the life I have.
I did some other fun stuff this year, one of which was spending some time with a couple. I met them on valentines day and we instantly connected, sharing many common interests and the same sarcastic sense of humour. At a time when my heart was still broken it was beautiful to be able to see love in its purest and most perfect form, between two wonderful people. To some people being with a couple might seem to be the worst idea for someone with a broken heart, but in them allowing me into their world, I was able to remember the utter bliss and companionship that love brings. It's like art - looking at it brings you joy and being an observer to their love brought me happiness and reassurance. It gave me hope and I am forever grateful to them both for allowing me to share in all that they are. The den making, the dinners, the fire alarm incident and all the beautiful little things in between that make up a relationship are moments I will treasure forever.
I also made some very special friends, people who I never would have crossed paths with if my life had gone the way I had hoped it would. I am not a believer in fate or 'everything happens for a reason' but I am so happy that the road I took lead me to meet people who have filled my life with happiness and friendship, support and sister-ship. Buppy I love you.
So, I sit here now at an internet shop (hoping the person sat next to me doesn't feel too unnerved by what she sees on my screen) and I ask myself the big question - "What now?".
The answer to me is in the relief, it's in the people who tell me I belong here, it's in the sense of feeling I am home whilst living out of a backpack. It is having tonsillitis and not still not wanting to go back to the UK, even though a cuddle off my Mumma would be wonderful.
I have found home.
I will be returning to Wales at the end of January with a new mission - to save enough money for a student visa, and to hopefully come back in January 2017 to find myself a place and to start my life here again. But as anyone who makes plans will know, plans don't always go the way you..well...planned. And that is something I've learned in recent years - things change - people and situations and opinions and opportunities change and morph and move, and so do we. So, who knows, something might change that plan, my life might veer wildly in the opposite direction, and that's okay too, because you have to adapt to all of those changes with energy and curiosity. The world is out there and it is wonderful.
All for now,