Six months ago, I was feeling really stuck. I wasn’t loving the city I lived in, I was exhausted working four day jobs, and even though I called myself a theatre artist, I was feeling equally uninspired to do anything creative.
So in January 2019, as many of us do at the start of a new year, I sat down to write some ‘resolutions’. I downloaded a Year Compass, one of those booklets that asks you about your hopes and dreams, what words will inspire you in the coming year, what you will work towards and what you will let go of. I lit a candle, grabbed a pen, and got to work. An hour and a half later, I was surprised by what I had written.
I had expected to write about how I wanted to exercise more and eat healthier, create some extraordinary theatre work, and spend less on lattes. But instead I had written about wanting to explore and travel, to experience without fear, and to disrupt the routine I was in that wasn’t making me feel happy anymore.
This was tough. For so long I had defined myself by being a ‘theatre artist’, one who works hard, embraces the grind, and is always looking for new opportunities or creating them for myself. So the fact that none of my goals were about that made me feel like I didn’t know who I was anymore.
But I did know that if I was going to live a life that felt more authentically ‘me’, I had to follow my gut and do some of those things I had written down. I wasn’t exactly sure how, but every day it became more clear to me that I was meant to travel and that now was the time to do it. And it felt like once I had accepted that, things quickly fell into place.
By early March, I was on a plane to Spain for a magical two week trip with Adam. We saw all the Gaudi architecture in Barcelona, ate paella under orange trees in Valencia, explored old castles in Malaga, and drank more than our share of Rioja in Madrid. I felt the most excited about life as I had been in a long time.
We came home, expecting to fly to China shortly after to start a ten-month teaching contract. And even when our visas were delayed for six weeks, we made our very tight budget stretch to accommodate a week-long roadtrip through Quebec. And on May 2nd, we landed in Dalian, China to start our next adventure.
Packing up our sweet little apartment, leaving my jobs, and saying goodbye to my friends and family was so hard. But dealing with the homesickness and culture shock I’ve experience in China has been harder. (There will be much more on that coming soon.) But even so, I feel like this was the right decision.
There was another very important thing I wrote down in that Year Compass book. “Start sharing my story.” I’ve always been a storyteller through playwriting or acting, but in an attempt to live up to that big word ‘AUTHENTIC’, it feels like time to put myself in the centre of these stories.
This blog seems like a good place to start…
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