The Blog

Lessons from Sobbing in an Airport – Growth Leads to Grief

If you’ve been following my journey for the past few years, you will know that Canberra was my home for nearly a decade. I moved there in my mid-twenties for work and it’s (arguably) where I became a grown up. I bought my first house, started by business, fell in love – it was where as a grown up I started my life.

Last week, I needed to go back to visit for work for a week. I spent five days working in a building I went to every single day for four years.
I saw old friends, visited old haunts, hugged some of my favourite people – and the whole time felt a little like an out of body experience?

This was challenging given I was actually required to consult and do actual Government work while I was there. I was being paid to form adult opinions on things that matter but it all felt disconnected from reality.  

This feeling is deeply unsettling and for days I tried to put my finger on how I was feeling. I tried meditating, exercising, blaming the cold, having more caffeine, having less caffeine, pain stimulus… a and nothing seemed to shift. I didn’t feel disconnected from the city, I felt disconnected from my entire being while I was in the city.

After some minus temperature weather and some wonderful days in town, on the way back to the airport, I drove through the old suburb I lived in and I thought my life there.
Sure, the divorce was hard but I lost so much more than just my partner. I left my local community, my house, my support network, my friends… I left an entire life behind.

And then it hit me.

Over the last two years so many wonderful magic things had happened that I’d never thought about. In this exact moment, I was grieving my old life in very real time.

I’d spent the last two years in a totally different place – physically, emotionally and mentally and it wasn’t up until this moment I realised how much I had changed. I lived out of a backpack for 9 months. Survived the pandemic in Melbourne.  I’d fallen back in love. Changed my business. Written another book… I’d changed SO MUCH.

I was not the girl who used to live in Canberra anymore. She doesn’t even exist anymore. What it meant though was that all the growth I had gone through, meant I had to grieve my old life and who I used to be.

Any type of growth always leads to grief. Somewhere between LA, divorce papers, kissing boys and that pesky virus, I had forgotten the simple lesson that his was never easy.

Is coming to terms with this worth it? YES! 100%
Is it easy? Not a chance.

As I sat in the lounge, I realised how much I was looking forward to coming back to Melbourne. I’d loved my life but felt almost immediately homesick for my old life and my home. It’s all part of the process.  

I’d also like to take this time to formally apologise to anyone at Canberra Airport last week when they watched a 35 year old sob as I got on the plane.  

So dear reader, here is what I ask of you. I want you to think about where you two years ago today and compare it to where you are now.
Are you happy about the direction you are growing into?

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