“Leaving feels good and pure only when you leave something important, something that mattered to you. Pulling life out by the roots. But you can’t do that – until your life has grown roots.”
-Paper Towns by John Green
When I left Australia just over two weeks ago, it felt neither good nor pure. It felt messy and painful and gut-wrenchingly awful. I spent my last week there riddled with anxiety. I struggled to sleep and when I did, I would wake up in a cold sweat and a puddle of my own tears. I tried desperately to cling to the people who matter most to me, but it was like grabbing a fistful of sand – tightening my grip only made them trickle through the gaps in my fingers all the more quickly.
It wasn’t all bad. That week was filled with boozy farewell dinners, long gossip/laughter-fuelled lunches and hilarious karaoke antics. I was showered with gifts and some of the best advice I have ever been given. I was overwhelmed by how many people told me not to leave. (Including the taxi driver who took me to the airport) When I boarded my plane in Sydney, I couldn’t see through the haze of tears brought on by so many heart-felt goodbye texts. Giving up such a strong support network, the likes of which I just don’t have in England, is the hardest part.
This is the third time in two years I have ripped up my life by the roots and transplanted it elsewhere. Each time, it is difficult, heart-breaking and terrifying. It is also exhilarating and keeps things interesting. I derive great strength from the knowledge that I have done it before and can do it again. Change is the only constant in life – we have no way of knowing what is just around the corner. For the first time in over three weeks, I feel like it might be something very, very good.