We’re 9 months into 2018. What have you achieved so far?
This tweet has been circulating now for the past couple of days and seeing as today marks 6 months since leaving home to start my solo travelling to the South Pacific, it started to make me think what I’d achieved in these past months.
So, what have I achieved so far?
I kept telling people when they asked me ‘what are you going to do in Australia’ and my reply would always be.. ‘I’m going to get a job in marketing’, with a hint on hope.
For the past 3 months i’ve been working in a content marketing position for a marketing company on the Gold Coast. So, plan 1 = Achieved.
I’ve got a beautiful flat on the river, where I am able to watch the sunset every evening. Achievement 2.
I started my farm work (to get my 2nd year Aus visa) and lasted 9 days before I accepted it wasn’t for me; Failed.
I’ve met a bunch of amazing people, those who I am certain will be in my life for a very long time; Achievement 3.
I’ve not smashed my iPhone screen! *touch wood* Achievement 4!
But whilst these are all massive successes, the actual achievements for me, might seem so much smaller to everybody else, but are much more significant.
Having depression and anxiety, and being 10,000 miles away from home has been a real challenge. But throwing myself into the complete uncomfortable zone of solo travelling has allowed me to achieve things I never thought I could since I have had my diagnosis.
I have learnt, and have started to accept, that every day is not going to be a good day, and that’s okay. That some days I will go to work, come home and be in bed by 8pm. That is also okay, because tomorrow is a new day. This is hard when ‘backpacking’ (as such) because I am only in Australia for a small amount of time, which means the expectation to be having a good time all the time, is leering over me.
I live in the flat on my own and whilst this is sometimes absolute bliss, it does mean I spend a lot of time on my own. Loneliness is a major problem that solo travellers fear. One of my achievements is to be able to not get sad when I have to spend Friday nights alone. I now get in nice food, watch a film and go to bed early. This, for me, is a big achievement. I went through a bad stage, when I was first diagnosed, where I couldn’t be alone. I couldn’t even sleep without someone being there. So for me to be 10,000 miles away from home, and now be able to appreciate my time alone has been a massive learning curve.
I am 135% my mother’s girl, I have strong relationships with my sisters and I love my boyfriend. And whilst I can contact and speak to them at most times of the day, I am out here on my own. A huge achievement for me is I’ve learnt that the only person who is going to keep me strong is myself. Nobody else is going to do it for me. I have been through some pretty serious illness over here, all in which i’ve had to get through by myself. Trust me, the hospital in Fiji when I had sun poisoning was pretty scary.
But even though these 6 months since leaving home, has allowed me to learn many things about how to deal with my mental illnesses, the biggest achievement since leaving home; I haven’t self harmed. Oh, I’ve spiralled so low I’ve felt that was my only option. But the only person stopping me doing that has had to be myself. I’ve found other methods to deal with the bad times, I have had to.
Sometimes people feel that ‘achievements’ need to be something solid. Something to be measured, something that everybody can see. But not everybody has the same meaning of an ‘achievement.’
So to answer the question, what have I achieved in the past 9 months?
I’ve survived, and that, for now, is enough.