Starting over, creating a new life again has always been something that has intrigued and excited me, like finishing a book and knowing that when you close it that’s it, you can’t change the story. You can always look back at it, but it’s done, finished, and you now get to open a new book with endless possibilities.
When I think back about the last four weeks, I realize they have been full of joy and happiness with only fleeting moments of sadness. I’m feeling alive, confident and happy. This new chapter in my life has been one filled with new experiences, people and emotions.
I’ve been traveling a lot, going from one place to another, staying at friends’ places, lugging around my suitcase with only the essentials. I’ve never been a materialistic person and living the life I am living right now has made me realize even more how little you need to live a happy life.
Growing up I never had many friends, in fact, as a teenager I had none. I had trouble accepting people into my life, but over these past couple of weeks I have started to realize how valuable friendships really are and how much the people in my life mean to me. They have made me appreciate the things I have rather than focus on what I lost.
So as I sit here, with the rain coming down hard on the tin roof, my brain is bombarded with thoughts and things to write about and I have trouble trying to piece them all together. I start writing and end up with a whole lot of mismatched paragraphs.
It seems that I have been so focused on wanting to write something other people would enjoy reading that I forget the true purpose of this blog: writing for the love of it and staying true to me. It’s an on-going ‘issue’ I’m not sure I will ever get rid of, wanting to please others, for them to be happy; forgetting about what it is that I want.
After weeks I finally had a whole blogpost ready to be published, because I felt like it was about time I posted something again, but I wasn’t feeling it at all, because it wasn’t me. I was writing for the sake of it.
Somewhere along the way things seemed to have changed. It’s not primarily about my photography anymore, it has grown with me and I need to continually remind myself that it’s ok, because it’s about having a place to express myself and document my life in all its honesty in a way that suits the new me.
So, maybe honesty is a good topic to talk about. Although the first story that comes to mind is about how I went for a swim and forgot my towel, but being too lazy to walk back home and grab one, I jumped in the pool anyway and did laps only to realize that my bikini had stretched so much the bottoms kept filling up with water making it seem like I was swimming against a current and my good intentions of doing some exercise became an annoying battle of trying not to flash anyone and not giving up, but that’s a different kind of honesty I guess.
I think when I use the word ‘honesty’ I’m talking about being true to myself and accepting who I am and the situation I am in, good or bad. Sometimes these moments can make you feel very vulnerable. For me it was asking for help that was tough, but also a decision that strengthened my character.
After a month or two of being at home I knew I had to start organizing some form of income. I had seen my doctor and had explained to him my situation and the struggles I had faced over the past year and a half. Knowing about my history with depression, he gave me a medical certificate, stating that I wasn’t able to work just yet. I immediately felt a sense of guilt, like I was asking for something I didn’t deserve, but because of that little voice in my head, which told me that I needed a break, I went ahead and booked my appointment with Work and Income to discuss what assistance they could offer me.
It was cold outside as I walked to the WINZ office. With all the necessary paperwork with me I was prepared to face an uninterested person who would ask me a whole lot of questions and treat me like most unemployed people get treated, with a lot of disrespect. I was wearing my brave face and told myself over and over again that, whatever happened, not to take it personal.
Expecting to talk to someone one on one I was told to head over to a room and wait for the seminar to begin. Walking in the room, seeing a whiteboard with the words “how to create a CV” and “how to find work” I felt like I was being hit in the face with a brick. Tears welled up and I was tempted to walk out. What was I doing here?! I had worked many jobs before; I was not lazy and had a pretty impressive CV. I felt like the lowest of the lowest. This was so extremely degrading.
I managed to stick it out, but as soon as I left the building tears were rolling down my cheeks. If it was going to be this humiliating I would rather find a job than take the much needed break. Eventually, once I was convinced by others that it wasn’t personal, but a way to get rid of those who just wanted some easy money, I decided to give it one more go.
My next appointment was a lot nicer. Apart from the grumpy lady at reception who so clearly felt more superior to those who had to come here, I wasn’t treated with any disrespect. I was greeted by a friendly man and together we went through all my paperwork. At the desk next to me another lady was going through the same process. As she looked my way I gave her the “I know how you’re feeling” kind of look and she smiled back at me. After two hours I finally left, feeling happy I had gone back and not given up. After all, I did deserve some help.