Last night I booked my one way flight to Florence.
A few days before I paid for my deposit on a new flat.
Today I’m floating around in a bit of a fantasy-like state.
Because despite my overwhelming excitement for this big adventure, and despite the huge sense of pride I’m feeling, I can’t help but trip in and out of The Fear.
I’m probably thinking way too much into it all. I mean, technically speaking I’ve lived in another country for the past four years. It already takes me three hours to get home; something I only really do once every four months. It’s not like I’m moving to Australia or anything.
But what I think it is, if I’m perfectly honest, is that nervous uncertainty of leaving your comfort zone. Cardiff has been my home for such a long time now. I’ve got a beautiful house, an incredible group of friends and an exciting job in a world-renowned organisation. I know the place to go for the best nachos in Wales, where I can get a jug of wine for a fiver and the best hangover cure providers in the world. I know I can pretty much walk from one end of the city to the other and find myself constantly bumping into friends, colleagues or business contacts. I know it, and the city knows me.
What if I go to Florence, and no one “gets me”? What if I go there and everyone hates Disney?! What if people don’t appreciate my humour or my love of Boo the dog? What if everyone thinks I dress like a freak? WHAT IF THERE’S NO ONE AROUND TO THREAD MY EYEBROWS?!?
So many what ifs. But the biggest what if?
What if I didn’t grab this opportunity with both hands and regretted it for the rest of my life?
The uncertainty… it’s incredibly exciting. Sure, it’s terrifying. I mean, it’s a massive possibility that people will think I’m totally bonkers. But to tell the truth, people already do back here. It’s part of who I am. Most people embrace it. And if not, do I really want them in my life?
I like the idea that I need to discover all these new things. I can’t wait to find my favourite pizzeria, or the best gelato in all of Florence. I’m absolutely buzzing to walk into a bar and just speak to every damn person in there. I’m excited for the moment I can actually sit in on an Italian conversation and contribute something other than “Ciao!”.
I know that wherever I go in the world, my friends and family will always be there for me. Now I’ve invested in Rupert the iPhone (loving life) they are just a FaceTime call away. I’m lucky that I truly have the most supportive, beautiful group of people in my life that will never lose touch with me just because I’m living in another country.
This is going to be a fresh start for me. It’s an opportunity to be whoever I want to be and finally close the door on the poison that’s infected my veins for too long.
It’s a huge step in my career and my personal life. It’s the chance to grow both professionally and emotionally. It’s a challenge, it’s an adventure. It’s meant to be.