And you will go on
searching for the best of you
and you will never find it,
but that is the point.
– R.M. Drake
Today’s Monday, and it’s a good one. It is the first day of my third and final week in Perth is halfway through and I’m feeling light-hearted. I started my day with a ten-minute meditation (finally I’ve gotten myself to use Headspace!), followed by an energizing breakfast, just the way I like it. I went to yoga, a 60-minute super sweaty hot yoga class in 40 degrees, and had a lovely leftover lunch. Now I’m sitting in an inspiring cafe-shop-workspace on William Street that serves the most chocolatey cappuccinos and a massive inspiration overload in the form of candles, soaps, porcelain and frames, all decorated with my favorite words of wisdom. I think I’ve found my place.
Last week was an insightful one. For each day that went by I found myself feeling more and more comfortable with being here and ‘doing nothing’ (as I like to put it). Getting settled, in other words.
I went camping at the beginning of the week with Dylan’s girlfriend Célia. We drove up to Jurien Bay a couple of hours north of Perth and visited the Pinnacles Desert and Yanchep National Park. My first roadtrip offered me a glimpse of Australian nature – hot and dry with beautiful, ever-changing landscapes – and my first kangaroos and koalas. The former seemed to have gotten lost and ended up on the road just outside Pinnacles Desert, whereas the latter were fast asleep in uncomfortable-looking positions, one weirder than the other, in the trees of Yanchep.
What else has been up? I went to another one of Célia’s housemate’s barbecues, took a few yoga classes and joined Dylan’s family for dinner at his parents’ place to celebrate their pearl anniversary. I biked around the city, made myself acquainted with a few more cafes in the neighborhoods of Mt Lawley and Maylands, and biked along the river (or the houses next to the river… biking along the river didn’t really work out) all the way to East Victoria Park on the other side. It was a lot farther away than I’d thought, and it was hot and sunny and windy. When I finally got to one of the cafes that I’d looked up and found that the kitchen had closed at 3 pm, I was devastated. No food!? I hadn’t had lunch, so I ordered an iced matcha latte and a banana bread, which was the only thing they had left, and sat down and took a one-hour break, hoping that the way back in to the city would be downhill and super chill.
Friday was groundbreaking. Dylan and I went to yoga at 6 am, after which we had another healthy (…) CHU breakfast in Hyde Park. Having had two early Friday mornings in a row now I’ve quite come to like the idea of getting up early on Fridays in order to allow for an efficient day, so I’ll definitely try to stick to that habit. Kind of like getting a good start to the week with an efficient Monday, a super-Friday strengthens your feeling of having had a great week.
Anyways. I did a workout in the park, went back to the house and did my laundry, and then wrote my first job application. Can you believe?! I couldn’t, but I felt super accomplished! I also applied for my tax file number, which is required of anyone who wants to work in Australia and prefers to not pay ridiculously high taxes.
In the evening we went to one of Dylan’s friends’ house for a barbecue. We had an inspiring and thought-provoking conversation with a few of the guys about taking risks and daring to step outside one’s comfort zone. One of them had just quit a well-paid job and turned down a remarkable promotion offer in order to follow his aspirations and become an entrepreneur. He was super switched on and seemed so passionate about what he was doing that almost automatically I found myself wondering what is my thing? What’s my passion, what’s my inspiration?
I don’t know, yet, but I do wish I did. I found myself fighting against the rise of that familiar voice that was getting louder and louder inside my head, reminding me of the fact that I’m 27 years old and have no clue – okay, maybe a little – and no plan as far as what I want to do in life. The clock is ticking. Not good, not good.
Okay, that might be a little too dramatic because I do have a clue and I am convinced of being on the right path, of going in the right direction, but still. Anxiety struck.
The guy who’d quit his job told us that he’d asked himself two questions when trying to come to a conclusion concerning what he should do:
- What is going to happen if I stay?
- What is going to happen if I leave?
Sometimes what seems to be the most logical – safest, smartest, best in the long run – thing to do is in conflict with what your heart feels is the right thing. Becoming an entrepreneur does not come without risks, but if the thought of doing that makes your heart racing, if you really want to become an entrepreneur (or anything else for that matter), then those risks might just be worth taking. And why is that? Because it makes life more fulfilling. You challenge yourself, not for the money, not for the success, but for the purpose of it, the meaning. By daring to put yourself out there no matter how scary it might seem at first you enable growth that would not be possible otherwise. You live, you learn, but most importantly, you feel. You feel alive, and what’s more awesome than that?
The same guy was telling us about the thoughts that were going through his head when he was trying to figure out what to do, when suddenly Dylan pointed out that ”Anna’s one month ahead of you”. What? What’s he saying?
I was taken by surprise, but soon realized he’s right. They guy had only just quit his job, whereas I did the same three months ago. Although he seemed to have figured out what his ‘thing’ is and I haven’t, I was able to fully relate to what he was saying. I took my leap in September and here I am, alive and well, better than ever.
It was a peculiar moment, an insight that brought me both comfort and hope. Slowly I am starting to see the net appear. I have sent in my first job application and gotten myself started with the mandatory administrative stuff. My head is full of thoughts of what I might like to do, what I could imagine myself doing, in the near and far future, but I can’t get a grip of it just yet. So what is the purpose of me being here?
To quote Dylan: ”To suck up as much of that inspiration as you possibly can.”
To live and learn and get inspired, gain life experience and make memories. To not stress, because I’m in the right place; I’m in a good place.
Keep on seeking, my friend – the journey is the destination.
Anyways. One of Dylan’s friends asked me what I’ve been up to so far during my stay. I tried to think what I’ve been doing and couldn’t really tell. I told him that I don’t even know what I’ve been doing but I haven’t been bored for a second so it’s been good. Three weeks is a long time to hang out with yourself only, but “time flies when you’re unemployed,” I laughed. “‘Funemployed’, you mean?”
Funemployed. How fitting is that?!
Everyone I meet asks me what I do, naturally, and I always tell them I’m here on a working holiday visa. ”Oh, cool. So where do you work?”, they go, and I reply ”Ehm, I don’t work yet. I’m meeting up with friends and family until the end of the year and am planning to start working in January”. A quick-witted friend of mine suggested that instead I should say that ”I’m here on a working holiday and started with the latter” (refering to ‘holiday’), or simply that “I’m in between jobs”, no further questions. I’ll definitely incorporate these to my vocabulary.
Back to the weekend, though. Friday having been quite intense, the rest of the weekend was super relaxed. Saturday was super hot, up to 36 degrees, so we decided to go to the beach. It was my first proper beach day here in Perth. Having spent a couple of hours in the park on Friday the beach was so much nicer with a refreshing breeze coming in, you didn’t even notice the heat. Perfect!
Dylan was going to attend a wedding in the afternoon and had asked the groom, his friend from uni, if it was okay that I joined the ceremony in Hyde Park. The dress code was ’dress your best’, so quite freely interpreted, but I concluded that a beachy batique dress and Birkenstocks was a little too much. Luckily I got to borrow an outfit from Bryanna so it was all good, although we didn’t get back to the house more than an hour before it was supposed to start at 4 pm. Never have I ever gone to a wedding so unprepared and so spontaneously, but it was a beautiful ceremony in the sun, good fun. Another thing to tick off of my bucket list – check!
In the evening I met up with Rob and his girlfriend Katie at a bar called Mechanics Institute on William Street. I hadn’t met Katie before, but she was just as sweet as I’d imagined her to be based on what I’d seen on Facebook and heard from Rob. We had burgers and a few drinks, after which we walked around Northbridge for a bit.
Sunday was spent in the hardware store assisting Dylan with his plans to build a kitchen table for their house – he’s the definition of DIY! – and on a very windy beach, after which the weekend was rounded off with a gourmet salad tossed together by me.
It was another nice weekend and an even nicer week. Now let’s see what this one brings along!