Writing by Brydie Nielson // Photograph by Tiziana Gualano
There was no single, defining moment that made me decide to up and move to the other side of the country. It was thousands of little moments and observations across a two or three year period. It was the overwhelming monotony of waking up every morning simply to follow a routine that brought me little satisfaction. It was making the decision to not drink on a night out with people I considered to be dear friends only to realise that I didn’t have anything to say to them whilst sober. It was lying awake at night, staring at the ceiling and picturing a future I wished I had. It was spending my days feeling as though I existed within a grey bubble.
Even more so, it was having a friend lovingly tell me they thought it was time I closed that chapter and began a new one. It was a weekly appointment with a psychologist to discuss how I would find my way forward. It was writing in my journal for hours on end, exploring the possibilities that lay before me and working to put past grievances well and truly behind me. It was learning to trust my instincts. In the lead up to the move I told anyone who asked that I was terrified. But, in all honesty, I wasn’t. My only concern was the fact that I wasn’t concerned. I didn’t have a house, a job, or a car awaiting me on the other side of the country. I barely had enough savings to last a couple of months. I should have been terrified. Yet it was hard to feel anything but excited when everything felt so right.
I do a lot of things alone now. Cooking dinner is often a silent undertaking without my housemate there to provide comic relief and breakfast is a chore when there’s no one to join your kitchen dance party. Exercise has become less enjoyable without my confidant by my side.
I cart books everywhere I go, because they’ve always been my friends anyway. I miss my family and I miss my friends. I miss Sunday morning brunches and drinks after work. I miss knowing which hair dressers to avoid and which doctors bulk bill. I miss the ease of familiarity.
However, moving has given me the opportunity to meet some really wonderful people; people who I never would have met otherwise. People who share the same interests as me and people who have pushed me to reconsider my own values. They have helped me to discover new interests; likes, and dislikes that I did not know I possessed. I’ve lost hours upon hours studying in the university library, completely by my own volition.
My mouth has also developed this strange habit of saying yes before I can stop it, even when my brain has already said no. I now throw myself at opportunities as opposed to my usual practice of shying away. For the first time in my life I genuinely look forward to what lies ahead, rather than ache with a longing for days gone by.
Before the move, I was quick to defend my choice before people had a chance to question it. I did not want to be seen as the kind of person who ran away when things got tough. But you know what? I did run away. I ran away from a really shitty situation and towards a better, brighter future. I’m proud of myself for doing it too. I’m proud that I was confident enough to call time on a game that I no longer wanted to be a part of. It feels incredible to have broken free from that bubble. It feels so liberating to have taken my friend’s suggestion and consciously closed off a chapter of my life. There is no other way to describe it. It just feels really fucking good.[share]