'' So... where did you end up?'' said my friend ''29'' on facebook chat the other day.
I call her 29 because it seems that she has been celebrating her 29th birthday for quite a few years already. She was already 29 when I met her, in 2005 in a backpackers hostel called Kipps Canterbury.
She was a world traveller, I was a student teacher on an 8 months work placement in England and her secret admirer. I was way too scared to leave my comfort and the security of a future as a teacher .
Where I ended up.... Everyone had that question in mind. For the last 3 weeks of my legal stay in Australia I did a good job denying my situation. I was happily living THE life in my little town of Murwillumbah , teaching aussie primary school kids how to read in a french accent in the morning, writing a little , chilling a lot and going barefoot to the supermarket.
It's only 10 days before my visa ended that I started to worry about '' where I was going to end up'' . Not that i actually did anything about it or even wanted to end up anywhere.
Yes, us, Europeans when we fall in love with Australia we wait to the last minute to make a move. Because we secretly hope that the World Fairy will come and say
'' You've been a good girl you can stay in Australia for ever and you can even work for money ( which would be quite a new concept for me)
We, arrogant europeans , are so used to be welcomed to any neighbour country and stay as long as we want to , we don't understand the concept of '' visa''
If I'm happy in Australia and Australia is happy with me .... WTF is the problem?
Instead, the world fairy becomes your mother, when you call her at midnight her time from Flight Centre, on the day you're supposed to leave the country a to confirm the credit card number you ve been using is hers . You're 33 ,broke and your mum just paid for your ticket . D'oh. Now that's the Spirit.
The worst is when the european salesman from Flight Centre tells you
'' Don't worry darling I did the same thing as you. I called my parent to fly me out too. Then I found love and married an Aussie girl I'm now a permanent resident here!
Of course it made me cry even more. But at least he tried.
I said good bye to my friends the very same day , sobbing so much I could not even speak. I felt like I got dumped by the love of my Life for no real valid reason.
Why did you leave me Australiiiiiiaaaaa .
I left 3 hours before my visa expired. I even took a picture of the stamp out. ( and cried again)
'' Guess where I am'' I tell my friend 29
It's freezing but everybody is wearing a tee shirt just because the sun is out, most my facebook friends are online at the same time as me and my nationality provokes the following raction '' Not another french. Pleeeease''
'' Oh dear you came back Home'' she tells me.
Going home : Stop traveling. be responsible , take responsibilities for my actions and act like an adult.
That's what it should mean. If home was not a backpackers hostel in Canterbury, England.
That's when my ordinary life becomes (again) the opposite of everyone else's.
Now that I ve stopped traveling I can at last share a dorm with aussies, argue that Melbourne is way better than Sydney over breakfast with strangers, and speak about work with an italian guy looking for a job as a pool attendant ( yes, in England. He 's waaaay worse off than me) .
Sure. It all makes sense (not) . My mood is oscillating between '' awesome , I get another go , the adevnture is on!'' ( Spirit) to '' Why the f do I have to do it all again. 2 weeks ago I was a world traveller on the verge of becoming a writer. My book was being published by some great publisher in France.Then what happened? I just did not have enough money for my dreams. Now I'm here , on the verge of applying for a job at Mac Donalds and start over AGAIN ? SERIOUSLY? ( ego)
To Spirit : So... on the one hand you're telling me that I have to leave my material comfort behind to live my dreams. That, I finally did 4 years ago.I left house, car , job , fiance ( sorry) and moved in to a dorm in Kipps. Now you're telling me, after 3 trips around the world that I don't have ENOUGH material comfort to achieve it and take me back to... a dorm in Kipps?
Me angry? A TINY BIT.
What was the purpose of all that then? I could just have STAYED HERE.
Experience, son. Experience.
I 've officially seen both sides of the spectrum now. And guess what. Feeling trapped in your 9 to 5 life is the same pain as feeling that you and your freedom belong nowhere . It's called being out of balance. D'oh.
Now we're talking. I can understand you and you and also you. Compassion, son. That will save me. One day.
For now I need to get rid of that epic failure feeling. I am the only one who has it. When I tell my story to people I expect them to say '' Oh poor Annabelle''
But instead they laugh and they ALL say '' I wish I had your life''
WHAT???? Even with the credit card bill? And The fact that I'm an unpemployed 33year old who lives where she used to WORK????
Hell yeah. They say. Something about my passion about Life and Freedom. Something about me giving a go to my dreams.
2 weeks ago I was a world traveller on the verge of becoming a writer...
And when the negativty stops in my head I can see finally see it. that I still bloody am one. My book is still worthy of getting published , I haven't lost my ability to write and I 've been to so many countries that I can have a half an hour conversation with every single traveller here.
No, when you follow your dream you NEVER go back to square 1.You've made a choice and you will go there whether your little ego likes it or not.
When you follow your dream, the only thing you can really change is the way you SEE your Life. Because it will never be the same again and you don't want to miss out on the joy it could bring you NOW ...
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