This post is something I’ve thought about for a while without even realising it would be on a blog one day. I sometimes think back to that moment. The moment my life literally changed forever. Getting that phone call to confirm that I was leaving the country for six months, was the scariest moment of my life.
Up until 2015 I was a home bird. I didn’t like change. I liked everything the way it was with everything and everyone I needed right there. Or so I thought. . . .
I was working in a nursery, which was a five minute walk from my house, I mean how much closer to home could I get. One afternoon I was at work and I just remember looking around and thinking to myself, is this it? This is my life? I felt like I was suffocating. I had no clue how, but I just knew I had to get out. This was not going to be the end of my story. I’ve suffered from anxiety for a long time. This has held me back in the past, my self-esteem was sooo pants. I second guessed myself a lot and I worried about EVERYTHING. I was CONSTANTLY thinking! I went to therapy, which helped A LOT, but I think the biggest thing that I did to change my life, was that I changed my mindset. Going on the cruise ship put me in a position to give control over to something else and that was the position I needed to be put in, in order to grow. Looking back, I was so lost. It makes me a little sad to remember how I was and what I put myself through. I didn’t know what I wanted and the inner child in me was so indecisive and scared to take a chance. I lived in the ‘but what if’, instead of the, ‘let’s do this!’.
So, I did research on travelling and working abroad. I spoke to different people about the opportunities I could take. Then my sister suggested talking to her friend who worked on cruise ships. I scheduled a meeting and went to see him. OMG! I was hooked. By the time he finished talking I was convinced I wanted to go. That very day I researched and applied for various cruise liner companies. I got a couple of replies and the first interview I got, I took. I did a ton of research and was fully prepared. I flew through the interview and got the job the same week. Once you get a position it can sometimes be a long wait until a post opens up, then they tell you where and when you’re going to go. I quit my job at the nursery expecting to start soon after. However as time passed I realised I was running out of money and it had no end date. I picked up a job at local shop and also at a friends dog kennels to help bring in some cash. I was sorting the kennel laundry room out when I got the call. I was leaving in two weeks. Going half way across the world for six months. f**k.
Well it’s fair to say I had a breakdown. I cried so much. I couldn’t believe what I had done. I was absolutely sh**ting myself. Two weeks passed and I was off. . . The first Three weeks or so were really really hard. I was so homesick. I called home at every opportunity I got, I cried, I even enquired about leaving. But I didn’t. I stayed (only for three months because I broke my foot (eye roll!), but that’s a story for another time).
Surprise surprise, it turned out to be the best experience of my life. So far. . . Here I am over two years later and so so happy to be able to say, I did it! Leaving and venturing out by yourself into the big wide world alone is scary and very daunting. Not necessarily physically going, but also mentally deciding that you are going to change your life and make it better, is scary. But, Staying and never experiencing actually being alive. . . .now that, is the scariest thing of them all.
When I tell people I worked on a cruise ship it still sounds like someone else’s life. It really was me though!
I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they could go anywhere on earth. Then I ask myself the same question. -Harun Yahya
If you’re not sure what your next chapter may be, just take any opportunity. If you don’t know where you are going, then choosing any path will lead you somewhere new and exciting. I think if I could give any advice to my younger, anxious, lost, self. It would be to, just do it!. Stop thinking and just do. Be a ‘yea I really did that’ person, not a ‘I had the chance but was too scared’ person. And don’t think you have to do something crazy or eccentric to leave your comfort zone. Maybe start small. Study something that interests you. Date someone you wouldn’t normally go for. Go for that promotion. Push yourself past the limits you’ve set up in your head. The opportunities we get in life really are very fleeting. Like a snowflake. One you’ve caught them, they melt ever so quickly.
So do things that really make your soul light up. Trust me. . . .that’s truly living. As Hugh Laurie said:
It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have a feeling that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now.