Although we’ve not had a great Summer, I still can’t believe how quickly the seasons have changed. I’ve gone from baking on a beach in France to finding myself practically on top of the heater in work and all in the space of one week!
It really does feel like we’ve gone straight into Winter and I’m not sure I even noticed the change in the season until I took myself out for a walk one evening and saw all the leaves newly rusted and beautifully burnt. The colder weather always inspires my nesting instincts so I decided to make a few changes around the house and I’m so glad I did – it’s surprising just how much satisfaction one can derive from buying new duvet covers and cushions for the couch, that’s serious therapy right there.
On my journey of domestic goddess activities (which lasted all of one day), I decided to move my house plant, Figaro – who was recently sporting a rather dishevelled look – from a dark corner in the sitting room, where his favorite pastime seemed to be losing leaves, to a more prominent position near the fireplace. From the moment I placed him in his new spot, I knew it was the right thing and after a few days I noticed that he was beginning to look much better.
When I commented to my fiance Darran about his improved form – after all he’d only lost one leaf since his move instead of his daily three – I was met with a very strange and familiar look, the kind that is reserved especially for me and my fondness of plant naming. However, strange looks aside, deep down I was convinced that it was just the change that our Figaro had needed.
Afterwards, it got me thinking about change and how my own life has changed in recent times. Two years ago, I was living in London, working in one of the City’s leading creative agencies and surrounded by a bunch of extraordinarily talented individuals. I had an amazing group of friends and a social life to die for …… right you get the picture, life was good, but somewhere along the trainline from Earslfield to Waterloo, I had a feeling that my time as a Londoner had reached its final stop.
I started to consider a move back to Ireland but knew I needed to wait for the right opportunity. After a few months of deliberating (i.e code for hounding every recruitment agency in the country), that opportunity came in the form of Brand Manager for a knitwear company (in Co. Kerry of all places) and I jumped at it. I persevered through interview after interview – four in total – and was delighted when I was finally offered a job that meant all the hard work I had put into my career in London wouldn’t be completely in vain. However when it finally came to shutting down a life that I had spent five years building up….well that was a different kettle of fish as they say.
When I told my CEO (whom I idolized), he made no secret about the fact that he thought I was making a mistake and said he would see me in six months time. On top of that, all my friends thought I was mad and “what will you do?”and “will you not get bored?” become frequent questions that I struggled to answer. I guess I had developed such a different way of life that people couldn’t imagine how I would adapt to a much slower pace at home. I had existed on a diet of adrenaline and flat whites for five years but just like the 90’s that diet also had a sell-by date.
Although I had a feeling deep down I was doing the right thing, inside I was terrified. I know it probably sounds daft – how hard can it be to come home right?! Wrong – home was a place where I dropped off my bag and partied until the wee hours, somewhere I went 5/6 times a year for nights out with my friends and family before getting my ass back on a plane to my life….my real life.
As the weeks went by I tried my best to block out any anxiety I had about the move home by keeping busy and going to all my favorites places in London with my friends while I still could.
On one of my last days, I took a walk through my village of Earsfield in the suburbia of South West London. I would miss this place with its quirky little independent shops, cosy bars (the kind that give you blankets when you sit outside), and coffee shops with real coffee. As I wondered and wandered up the village with the Summer sun beating down on me, the realization of what I was doing started to overwhelm me and I remember feeling my heart starting to race.
What was I doing leaving a job I loved, good friends and the buzz of a city that had captured my whole heart, soul and imagination five years earlier? What was I doing leaving everything I knew? My head was spinning as I finally realized what was happening…..I was breaking up with London.
When the plane touched the ground in Kerry Airport a week later, I had mixed emotions and a suitcase full of apprehension. As I reached the quaint arrivals lounge, the first person I saw was my dad but it took me a few seconds to realise – to my horror – that he was videoing me on his nokia 2330 as I walked through the gates.
It was in this extremely cringeworthy moment that every single one of my fears was washed away.
Life is all about changes, just like the seasons change so do circumstances, feelings and people but we need to be brave enough to change those things we know are no longer right for us.
Sadly relationships do come and go and opportunities and happiness may call to us from further afield. However change is hard and there are so many people who continue to avoid it out of complete fear of the unknown.
The thing is, without change we will never grow, without closing some doors the ones we seek may never open and without saying goodbye to the wrong people we may never say hello to the right.
As I lovingly took my Dad’s arm (after berating him under my breath), I turned away from our bemused onlookers and walked towards my new life….. I haven’t looked back since.
There is always something better around the next corner, just make a change and see.
Photos by http://www.PawelNowak.ie