I have completely turned my life around this year. It started with the decision that I refused to stay where I was. Geographically, emotionally and mentally. London had been draining me for far too long. I kept meeting people who treated me badly and as a consequence I lost my self-esteem. I struggled to find work because I had too many other unpaid commitments eating away at my job hunting time. I felt desperately isolated and lonely. That said, I did meet a few kind souls who helped me on my journey for which I’m forever grateful. I’m even more grateful for the unselfish advice, support and encouragement of the ones I love. I owe you everything. Love really doesn’t know distance.
I had been toying with the idea of moving to Brighton since the end of 2013, because I love this city and I wanted to be near the sea. I started looking for work here. In May, an organic essential oil company offered me a part time job after I had done a few training days with them, but I couldn’t accept as I needed full time work to be able to move. There was no place I would have rather worked so it broke my heart having to turn the offer down. Keep reading, my heart gets mended!
Around this time, I decided to step away from crafting and designing to focus on writing. I found a full time job at an ethical supermarket in Brighton which allowed me to move. A now dear friend of mine, who I met during those training days, knew a lady who had a spare room to rent out short term. At the beginning of June, I packed one huge suitcase and my Kånken backpack, and took the train down to the seaside.The job wasn’t right for me at all. I knew it straight away but for weeks I tried to convince myself that I could do it. The landlady and I were from two completely different worlds. I could feel myself slipping back into depression which put me in full-on panic mode. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to play out! Brighton was supposed to be better than London. I was having none of it. I was done with being unhappy.
I paid a determined visit to the organic essential oil company and asked for a job explaining that that’s where I wanted to be, but that I needed to go to Sweden for an unspecified amount of time. My mum was having tests and there were concerns that she might be very ill. They said yes but that they could only guarantee part time work until the end of the year. At this point, I just wanted a job that was of benefit to my mental health. They asked me to keep in touch while I was in Sweden and to let them know as soon as I knew when I would be back.I handed in my notice to the ethical supermarket and worked at the essential oil company when I had time off. We took a day trip to a lavender farm and walking through the lavender field, I knew I was making the right decision. I wouldn’t get paid until later that month so I sold my beloved DSLR (because what are material possessions compared to being with your mum when she’s scared?) to buy a one-way plane ticket, and went to Sweden to be with my friends and family. In the end, my mum was fine but I’m so glad I went because my mum and I connected in a way that we never have before.
In Sweden, I spent a lot of time talking to my best friend, my dad, my mum and my brother about what I needed to do to be happy. I walked in the woods, sat zazen and did hours of stream of consciousness writing every day in order to reconnect with myself. Something happened inside of me. I decided to start forcing my life to happen the way I wanted it to. When I came back to Brighton at the end of August, I was full of willpower and motivation (after crying my eyes out leaving my beautiful home country).I went to London and collected the rest of my stuff, and that chapter of my life was officially closed. The next day, I started my job at the organic essential oil company not knowing how long they would have work for me. I worked hard and after a while, they offered me permanent full time work. For the first time in my life, I look forward to going to work and I’ve even been promoted to workshop manager. I love my job and my colleagues so much!
Things were finally falling into place but there were still a couple of things in my life that didn’t feel right anymore. I decided to quit the magazine and limit the time I spend online. Since I came back from Sweden, I had been putting away money for a deposit and a first month’s rent. After a month of intense flatshare hunting, I found the perfect flatmate and moved into her beautiful flat by Brighton Pier. I couldn’t be happier! I put all my energy into making my new life happen and in the end, I got what I wanted.
Being alive isn’t supposed to be so hard that you can’t bear it. Of course, there will always be difficult stuff that you have to deal with, but a lot of things in your life are within your control. If you’re not happy where you are, change things. If you get beaten down, try another way. If you can’t do something on your own, ask for help. Don’t let anything or anyone trick you into thinking that you’re powerless. Life is too short to spend time doing things that you don’t want to do. Go after what you want. Be persistent. You will get there.
I fought hard for my happiness and this post probably won’t illustrate how hard. I’ve been beaten down so many times over the last 5 years that I’ve lost count. I’ve been broke and unemployed. I’ve been on the verge of becoming homeless. I’ve been tied to time consuming commitments that were forced upon me. I’ve been in chronic pain and I’ve had broken bones. I’ve been on the verge of giving up my life in England and moving back to Sweden. I’ve been on the verge of ending it all because I felt so completely trapped in my situation. There are no words that can express the gratitude I feel towards the ones I love who helped me through those particularly dark times. All I can say to them is: I love you.