This New Adventure…

Life has been far from what I thought it would be when I headed back to the UK, but after weeks and now months of returning, I now realise that’s it’s all just one big adventure. I may not be in some far off distant land, but I am still ready for whatever adventure comes my way.

While I still dream of all the places I could have visited, all the money I could have saved, I also remind myself of all the things I didn’t want. The reasons I came back.

It’s been strange readjusting to your own culture, I cried, went into denial and mourned the loss of a country who made me so welcome. I thought I might never see the UK in the same light again. But i was wrong and now it seems it’s all coming back to me and if anything I should be proud of all I achieved there and all I have achieved since then.

Since August I have now managed to get enough work to tide me over, covering my very bare essentials. Yes I have spent a lot of my savings, but with some luck, I will still have some to sit in my bank account. After all, that was what I had planned to spend them on.

The thing I am struggling with at the moment though is motivation. I have ideas, plans and opportunities, but I don’t always use them to the best of my abilities. I have found myself stuck in a rut that my brain desperately wants to get out of and my body just wants to sleep past.

Sleep is an issue. I got blood tests today to see if I had any problems that have caused my ability to almost sleep through the day. If I wanted to I could easily stay in bed all day. It’s a symptom of my looming depression, but after this long could be another problem altogether.

I think the thing I miss most is being able to see friends all the time. There was normally a few people I would meet with during the week who I thoroughly miss and in England it’s so different. People are working so many jobs, so many hours, have partners and it’s a chore to put the time aside to see people.

The biggest realisation though is that I am not on that husband, two children, house in the suburbs, pension, death route. Though my Facebook may be filled with marriages, that’s not me. I need to find a way to sustain myself, I want to be able to own my own home, but not some huge bricks and mortar building, but a little space. My latest thoughts are a narrowboat home, which I’ll design with my friend. The dream would be a tiny house on a little piece of land. I’m researching all the time and I hope I can find something that will help to support it.

I’m starting to think of all the alternatives in my new life. Does having kids require a partner? Does everyone have to have a full time job? When do I stop waiting for this mystic man to come forward? What is it that makes me actually happy? Like ME. Not someone else’s standards, but me? It feels alternative, but really isn’t it just realistic? Couldn’t it just be one more adventure in the time we call life?

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Messy Bed.

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Source: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/250723904225104172/ 

I saw an article this week, about a woman suffering with depression who, when it gets bad can’t bare to tidy or clean or care about herself. It’s something so many of us go through though we hesitate to mention it through fear that someone will call us dirty, it’s more than likely happened before.

Yes people can be messy, I can be terrible, but if I’m in the right state of mind, you can see the difference in my surroundings. When I was in Hong Kong I wrote a poem in an attempt to write down my feelings about this exact subject and then I never posted it, perhaps in fear of judgement. I want it to now compliment the article I saw and support those who feel they lose control of their surroundings when things get dark.

No matter who we are, sometimes we just become overwhelmed.

 

The Girl

The girl who has the world upon her shoulders,

everyday she cannot help but feel the strain,

She sits alone between the dishes unwashed,

the floors unswept and the washing pile rising.

As she walks across the room she is followed

by the cats who gave her love when none would.

She dreams of all the dreams that could have happened,

all the thoughts that filled her mind with such bliss.

All the destinations, unmade plans and expectations

A distant memory from the days when she was young.

She naps each day to fill the time between the known,

The unknown rearing it’s head like an almighty beast.

Her bed has become her eternal fortress

A habitat of white sheets and the smell of home.

As she lies she moves her eyes towards the window,

hearing the bird sing and the children shout.

One day it won’t be like this she wishes to herself

one day it will different but for now

life goes on.

 

The article: http://aplus.com/a/depression-sufferers-bedroom-pics 

 

A Letter to Myself.

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Dear N,

Remember who you were in Hong Kong. Remember that confident and resilient woman you were. Remember the friends you made and the people you now cherish.

I know England is hard for you right now, because life has become hard for you right now. There’s a certain way you used to be in Birmingham which effects who you are right now. But that’s the old you, that’s not who you’ve become. Embrace England with a fiery passion in your belly and a kind spirit.

Noone knows your personality like you do. You’re hilarious, witty (sometimes) and altogether kind. Remember that. Be that person you want to be, smile at strangers, be kind to the people around you and live life to the fullest. It doesn’t matter what country you’re in or who’s around you. Do this next step for you. Make the most of the hand you’ve been dealt and love yourself ever the more for it.

Remember people don’t know what you’re thinking. Ask for help when you need it and take notice of what’s going on around you. Be the strongest you, you want to be.

You know you don’t always love yourself. In fact often it’s quite the opposite, but the only way you can get through this is to be true to yourself. Use everything you learnt and be the traveller N. Right now there’s not much difference between you and her. Take that as an opportunity.

It won’t always be easy to read this letter without crying your eyes out or wishing you didn’t exist, but remember it’s always here. To care for you on the dark days and lift your spirits on the bright ones.

You need a new start and that all happens with you. Sit and write those applications and tell them everything you love about yourself, about how when you’re working with Young People you can’t think of anything else you want to do in your life. They make you happy, they give you life and without them you don’t have that. So get it.

Now, stop reading and get on with your life. Live it, to the full.

Best wishes,

N

When it feels like the adventure is over.

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So I’m now back in the UK and living with a wonderful friend I used to live with when I was last in Birmingham. All is well, but I suddenly have an overwhelming anxiety about everything and nothing at the same time.

My mission now is to get a job and make a new life for myself. I am here to progress in my career and I need to get on with job applications. Also at the same time though, I just want to bloody rest. The last few weeks have been insane, I spent two weeks in Singapore, left Hong Kong, did Dubai on the way back and visited Edinburgh for the fringe so I am pretty much exhausted. Yes this was mostly for leisure, but I know most people would agree when you’re travelling you’re not always relaxing by a pool getting a good rest.

So here I am, two weeks into being back in the country and I haven’t touched a job application. It’s almost starting to scare me, the thought of going through the process and the almighty thought of rejection. I need to not give up.

Today I spent the day sleeping and scrolling through Facebook, less than productive. My anxiety is returning and I am losing hope in life a little. My friend half convinced me to move back here because I had such a big support network and don’t get me wrong I have a lot of friends back here, but some have moved on and others I see as much as I did when in HK. Everyone worries about money in the UK, they’re not living on expat wages here and therefore nobody wants to do anything. That’s something I am finding hard, in Hong Kong everyone is so social and always want to go out for meals and have a coffee.

I miss the beach. What I wouldn’t give to Kayak in the sea right now in Stanley. I also think I’m grieving for Hong Kong. Sometimes I’ll suddenly break out into tears whether for 5 minutes or 30, it’ll effect me for my whole day. The place was home, but without the right job there was no point in me being there.

The dream now would be to find somewhere new, perhaps not the UK (I am dreading the winter already) but somewhere further afield, just the path at the moment isn’t clear. I need to keep looking and researching. Without work, there’s no way I can travel and that passion still runs through my veins.

 

The Start of the Big Move

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It’s coming oh so very close to my move out date, just shy of three years after I moved in. In my adult life I have never lived in the same place for this long before moving somewhere different. This place has been my fortress of solitude, the place I got to live with my best friend for a whole year and the first flat I was allowed cats!

As it comes nearer, I begin to get nostalgic. As I began moving things around I always hark back to the days when I sat in my flat alone on a thin mattress on the floor because I had to save up to get furniture. I stayed in a single bed in a room with no curtains for over two months before I began to transform it into the home I made today. It’s by no means perfect, I’d change a few bits of furniture if I had the money or was an interior design expert, but it was all I needed.

Slowly I’ve begun to take out storage boxes I forgot I owned, thrown away over loved shoes and found two HUMUNGOUS cockroaches, but it’s got me almost tearful at times. and not just because of the cockroaches… I try to think what this flat represents to me. A change in lifestyle, a change in country, a change in me.

So I have devised a master plan of attack for my final week in Sands Street.

Monday – Post stuff to England / take out my pension (You can take out your MPF in Hong Kong when you leave the country if you aren’t going to return and I thought it best as if I grow old and senile I might forget I ever had it!) Get a handyman to touch up the walls and fix the tap.

Tuesday – Send money to England. (excuse my french) FUCK BREXIT, but while the exchange rate is high, I should send as much across as I can.

Wednesday – Organise furniture donation to Crossroads charity and say goodbye to Milky (my last foster cat).

Thursday – Have the unwanted furniture taken away and electrical items cleared. Final clean of the flat. Take final items to the Salvation Army.

Friday – Say goodbye to my lovely flat.

Then that’s it, the keys leave my hands, I get the deposit back and I try not to bawl my little eyes out. You’ve done me proud little flat, you’ve done me proud. Thanks x

Alone

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I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and it’s by no means something I haven’t spoken about before.

I sit here at my table, full of pots and pans that haven’t been washed, across from a sofa that hasn’t been tidied and a load of washing ready to go to be washed. This is what happens when i’m alone. I don’t respect my own personal space. I have no regard for what issues it may cause for me, if I’ll trip up, not have a dish to eat my dinner from or struggle to find something I needed when running late in the morning.

I’m so sick of living alone, but I know i’d struggle to live with someone else if it wasn’t Mel, a friend I lived with before my move to Hong Kong. We shared a bed for 6 months after I lost my job and moved to a studio apartment. There’s no one else I could be myself around like that.

I don’t know what people do when they’re alone. I long all day to be back home and then I get here and sit on Facebook, barely feed myself and go to bed. When you’re alone, you sleep, lots, almost too much that you feel you’re just wasting you life as it rushes past you in a series of naps. But there’s nothing else to do.

At 21 my passion became my full time career and I’ve never been able to replace it. I could sit in the middle of the Praya and feel alone. With all the people jogging past me, doing their Tai Chi and sitting people watching.

It feels like there’s supposed to be a part of my life when I’m supposed to be alone. To be free of a boyfriend or child to take care of.I remember a colleague of mine saying “You’re so lucky you live on your own, I can’t get away anymore, all I want to do is sit alone and read a book”. This plan however, as I see it is highly achievable, have someone watch the baby put on the kettle and take a bath. But what happens when you’re done being alone? You go back to your unlonely days. I can’t sort out this situation, except to not be alone and for me, that’s just not possible right now.

My dream? To have someone that loves me. I’d say children, but I’m not greedy, I need that special someone to scoop me up first and make me feel like my life has some purpose, something to live for, something to come home to. I just don’t feel like it’s an achievable goal.

 

The Final Asian Adventure

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So I just got back from Singapore to see my best friend and to be a tourist for a bit. This was my final Asian adventure before I return to the UK in August. Hopefully I can get to go to Dubai on my way home, but we’ll see when the time comes.

Honestly, it was the most relaxing holiday I have had for a while. I was anxious when I woke up at 4am on the day of travelling, but after taking half a Xanax, I was free for the rest of the day. My flight was incredible, I slept on the plane and when I got to Singapore, I could eat. This is incredible in my journey to lower anxiety. I find it hard to eat when I go away as I’m so anxious about what I CAN eat being Gluten Intolerant and a bit fussy. My friend was a legend though, she was googling Gluten Free eats all over the place and I had my fair share of options giving my health and well being a good old top up.

The entire time I was in Singapore I felt an overwhelming sense of calm, perhaps it was getting to be with my best friend again, maybe it was because I’d been before or maybe, just maybe I was achieving something new and exciting.

I went out in the evening to places I’d never been to before and experienced the wonders of Singapore. I found myself in forests and new places, got lost and I think found myself a little. I don’t know about you, but I wish my everyday self could be my travelling self. She’s a wonderous girl, she gets up early, eats well, lives life to the full and takes everyday as a huge adventure.

It’s hard to keep up though and when money is tight as I try to save for going home. I just have to think of all the people I will get to see again and how lovely it will be to be near to some wonderful people I love and yet so far away from my very best friend.

 

There’s always ying to your yang but you just have to make the most of it.