In the past year I’ve lived in Sydney, in Copenhagen and in Adelaide.
I packed up my life into boxes and said goodbye to the house that has felt most like home to me and haven’t looked back. I fell in and then out of love, and wouldn’t change a thing.
I spent a week in Portugal eating octopus every day, sat in front of my favourite painting in London for an hour, sang my heart out to Patti Smith with thousands of others in Victoria Park, walked miles around Paris with new friends and old, swam in actual fjords in Norway and cold lakes in Sweden, car singing with one of the best ladies I know.
I spent three months alone in a new country and don’t know when I’ve ever felt better. Everything about Copenhagen sings to me, I can’t quite explain it, but it just feels right. I rode bikes, trains and ferries with Denmark’s finest, and ate more pastry than any normal person could hope to. I cried at sculptures, had my heart cracked open by golden northern light each evening and was emboldened and astounded by art almost every day. I sweated through hundreds of vinyasas, and ran laps over cobblestones and laneways, rough tracks and steep hills, in a cemetery and by the lakes. I drank sunny afternoon beers more days than not and reached a personal best in naps.
I got to snuggle with my nieces on cold mornings and pick them up from school in the afternoons. I’ve said goodbye to loved ones, and worked through new layers of grief and care as best I can with those I love. I’ve been scared and sad and still known I’m fine.
I’ve read more than fifty books and felt myself unfold and grow in love and strength with every damn page. Some have given me parts of myself I forgot about, or didn’t notice so well while others have shown me new ways of being. I’ve felt startled and inspired by some, humbled and hopeful by others. Quite a few of them made me cry, and one in particular made me laugh uncontrollably.
I’ve written hundreds and thousands of words - policies and briefings, but morning pages and personal essays and articles and reviews too. And then after it all, a fairly daunting PhD proposal. I have documented every damn Sunday because I am, as ever, amazed by the passing of time. I have learnt that I actually quite like change, and all the brightness and possibility that comes from it.
I have been happy in ways I didn’t understand before.
I have been grateful for all of it.