Day 188

I’ve been afraid of many things. Many of them I have worked myself through. Some fears I am still working on. To be free, is to be vulnerable. These words have been a mantra playing in the background of my thoughts, reassuring me when I make decisions to help myself. It has allowed me to share my feelings with a level head. This mantra has allowed me to be happy. It’s a silly idea to have to give yourself permission to be happy, but it’s true. I share this with the hope that someone will relate, that they will see an opportunity to help themselves and take it.

Then again, I don’t know anything. As much as I like to share my opinions and have the habit of acting like I know what I’m doing, I have to check myself. My opinions are simply that, opinions. My future is as solid as it is malleable. Adaptable. What I believe can be and should be questioned; what is the point of faith if it can’t be? I’m not religious by any means, but I do believe in myself and the ones I love. I’m proud of the fact that it is a short list. I love them all the more for it. I’m not lonely when the world is embracing me and I it.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson said quite nicely that we are made up the same elements, the most important being oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen. All of these elements are present in you as they are present in everything else in the universe. In a way, we are all special because we are all the same thing, we are all a different face to the same creating force.

Of course, love and life show themselves in different degrees. I love conversations with strangers. I love the fact that we all come from different backgrounds and can talk with a mutual respect and patience for our varied thoughts. I love how we can connect through our vigour for life, another face of the life force. I never thought I’d find myself saying anything like this. I dealt with a lot of anxiety and depression. I didn’t really help myself by drinking all the time. I won’t apologize for my need to escape, but I will for how I went about it. I’m glad I’ve reconnected with writing and found photography; they’ve been my outlets. Now that I’m on the move again. I have to hold onto these outlets all the more. Losing myself is easy, especially when I know better. I’m thankful to my Aus fam, it’s been an amazing, eye-opening experience, a rehab for the soul. I don’t think they’ll ever really understand what feeding chickens and pulling weeds did for my sanity. I still don’t know the extent of such a change, but I feel alive. I have never felt this way. I have never felt so free in my body, so free in my thoughts and emotions. I don’t cringe when I feel–feel anything! I only knew two emotions growing up: anxiety and anger. Hard to have a happy memory or live in the moment, because I was too attached to the past. I was too afraid of losing a good memory or having it taken away that I was busy looking over my shoulder rather than enjoying what was in front of me. I was the only one sabotaging my happiness and that’s a big part of freedom and happiness, accountability. I don’t think you can take charge of your life and accept change while living in denial and blaming everyone else. Excuses, they’ll be the death of you if you let them.

The universe gives you signs daily and most of the time, we’re so caught up in ourselves, in our problems and routine to see them, to do anything about them. I am fortunate enough to have the space to chisel away at the woodwork that is my life. Chipping away until I’ve found the heart and soul of my existence. I’m happy knowing I can put a finger on it say, that’s mine and I’m never losing it. My happiness is mine. I will share it with those who would share theirs, but I will never compromise my happiness and those who love me will never ask me to. My happiness includes them, my happiness is made greater by helping others. My happiness is your laugh.

I’m a proud little speck of dust.

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Day 187

Holi day at Hagley park. It was so much fun, but super messy. Days later and I am still finding powder in my hair!

Day 180

Australia Day! I’m behind on posting my pictures, but this was the 26th of January. There was a parade that finished at the botanical garden park. There was food, vintage cars, music, and a ton of people. It was a very emotional day, because it was my last day in Australia after nearly three months. I was leaving for Christchurch, New Zealand the same day.

Day 179

Went to the botanical gardens, but breezed through it. I wasn’t by myself and had to work with someone else’s schedule. Afterwards, we went to the central library. It was a most impressive visit. They have volunteers who give free tours and I recommend that as it gives you good information.

Later that day, I went to St. Kilda beach, about a 30–40min tram ride. It was 45C (113F) earlier, but by the time we went to the beach around 5, the weather had drastically changed. The clouds had moved in and the water was choppy, but I still went in. I wasn’t going to have another chance!

Day 178

Landed in Melbourne! It is such a different city and I prefer it to Sydney. Sydney had a lot of bustle, a lot of suit and tie and commercialism and there I was all sweaty with my backpack and cheap, dirty clothes. I just felt odd. It was a big change from living on a suburban farm in the silent bush hills of Perth. Melbourne is still busy, but it has a different energy and layout. I found easier access to art and nature, maybe it was because the trams was free. Cheap is good, but free is better.

My first day, I met a girl at the hostel and we went out to see Hosier Lane, the graffiti street of Melbourne. Fun and impressive to take a stroll down these streets.

After, we went to the Eureka skydeck to see the sunset. Fucking scary at 88 floors high, but worth it. $19AUSD for students, $21AUSD adult.

Day 177…Later On

From Perry’s Lookdown, we went to Wentworth Falls. I recommend this hike 100%! Some parts are closed down like the lower trials that go to the bottom of the waterfalls. There are three tiers and the third one is closed off, but if you are determined like we were you can sneak around the fence and continue. The trail is only closed because of falling rocks, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. All in all, it is a 6km (4mi) hike and steep. There are handrails and cables to hold onto and the paths are pretty well maintained.

Near the end of the hike, my friend and I got caught in a thunderstorm. It started raining and it made me nervous. We still had to climb back up from the bottom of the waterfalls (3km). At one point I was worried that we might slip and fall trying to get around the trail barricade. I have never hiked faster in my life. Mother nature helped, it didn’t start pouring heavy until we reached the barricade. After crossing that fence, I relaxed. It’s not bad hiking in the rain. Although I was worried for my camera!

Day 177

Went camping in the Blue Mountains of Sydney with a couch surfing friend/host. I really recommend seeing the parks in this area, really beautiful landscape. These pictures of the sunrise are from Perry’s Lookdown, a small camp site with a really good view. Sunrise was at 6am and worth getting up for. I am getting practice using my new tripod. I got it as a gift and it’s light weight and very handy.

Day 176

Landed in Sydney! Got off the plane and immediately walked straight for a bus, asking directions for the Opera House. I was hungover, but I managed to get where I needed to go. The kindness of strangers is a real thing. A couple helped me find the right bus and told me which stop to get off at to catch the train into the city. A man gave me a spare Opal card (public transportation pass) and helped me get maps and told me where to go for all the major tourist sites. I’ve managed very well with the help of strangers and I am very grateful to all of these people I have met along the way.

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