I am very happy because I have conquered myself and not the world. I am very happy because I have loved the world and not myself.
Once again, that bizarre combination of elation and fear that comes with the release of pressure. How do I even articulate this present moment? I’m really not sure.
I’ve just finished the final exam of my study period in Australia, therefore I feel compelled to document something. For the past couple of weeks, since the end of term, I’ve experienced the space to contemplate this past year and the imminent future. For once in a very long time I’ve actually been able to muster a sense of pride in what I’ve achieved this year. As I look back to August of last year, I truly would’ve never guessed that I’d have gotten to this point. Yet by focusing on each day at a time, I managed to pull myself out of the ravine of self doubt and make it back onto my Deakin path. Not only that, but I made it to the end destination. With that however comes the knowledge that I have to start a new trail and I’m reluctant now to leave this one behind.
Studying humanities, we tend to dwell quite a lot on the formulation of identity and this may sound rather cliche but I do, in some ways, feel like I’ve ‘found myself’ out here. I’ve faced up to my eating disorder, I come to realise that I don’t ‘fit in’ in the UK but that doesn’t mean that I don’t find a place in other circles and I’ve realised just how bloody suborn I am in refusing to give up when perhaps I should. I’m aware that I did an awful lot of complaining last trimester and I want to apologise for making you guys suffer that. This trimester has been exponentially better. It has still hasn’t been a walk in the park but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my units. I’ve learnt so much and it’s even given me the confidence to consider studying a masters and maybe even a PhD. (I severely caveat that with the word maybe).
Anyway, not to dwell on uni now that it’s all over an done with till September. Time to focus on personal life, which I fear has been severely neglected. Despite the vast majority of my time on aussie soil being spent on the same spot of our lounge sofa, I’ve miraculously managed to formulate a small but extremely valued social network. Over the next week I have a fair few catch ups that I need to squeeze into the calendar. Tonight a lovely girl from work has kindly decided to throw me a little farewell shinding at her house. It’ll be wonderful to get to chat to everyone outside of a work context. I’m sure it will make it even harder to leave though. Tomorrow I plan on heading up to my old place of work to say a final goodbye to my old colleagues. (and also get one of the best muffins in Geelong) Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find the time to pop back there since returning in February and I’ve really missed the guys there. Wednesday Ben, myself and Ben’s friend Stefan are going to tackle the famous 1000 steps walk in the Dandynong Ranges. Given that I define myself now as a hiker, I couldn’t possibly leave without getting that walk under my belt. Thursday I’m catching up with a uni friend for coffee at the great little Cafe Go in town. Then over the weekend I’m excited to be returning to the ‘home-from-home’ provided my couch surf buddies. Although I’ve caught up with Rohan a couple of times, I haven’t seen Jack since I left. It’ll be wonderful to see him again as they really do feel like life long friends.
Come Tuesday I’ll be embarking on my last leg of adventures. Thus far I have arranged my first nights accommodation in Carins followed by a trip up to Cape Tribulation to snorkel the Great Barrier. Beyond that, the journey is an open book. I plan to get down to Sydney for 20th July to spend my birthday with the family, but how I shall get there is totally unknown. Come the 27th July it will be time to return to Melbourne to say the tearful final goodbyes and return back to the UK on the 31st. So, this is no time to be nostalgic and melancholy about leaving. It’s time to embrace my final few weeks in Australia without any academic pressure accompanying me on my journey.