Just a few months ago, I had had enough. The UK seemed like a very hostile place to be, I wasn't happy where I was, both mentally and physically, and I felt directionless. Stuck in a rut. Unfulfilled.
Something was missing, and I knew I had to fill that gap or disappear into a quagmire of self-pity and self-loathing.
I was £3000, a visa and a suitcase of clothes away from jumping on a plane to Australia.
I had it all planned out: I would save money like a demon, beg borrow or steal a visa, and book the first flight out of the country when I had raised the cash. And put the rest on my credit card if I hadn't.
It seemed like the best option at the time. But the more I thought about my little escape plan, the more I felt like it wasn't the right thing to do. It started to feel like I was just running away from the problem rather than staying to fix it, and when I returned the problem would still be there. Sure, I want to travel the world like everyone else, but I am stubborn in my thinking that I want to travel the world with someone - someone who I will be spending the rest of my life with, so we can look back on those travels, reminice, get out old photos.....you know, all that kind of thing.
So I stayed. I became the secretary for the orchestra I play in, I started doing some youth work, I began writing this blog, and I vowed to put everything I've got into Lemons for Lemonade and make it a business success. And I've never felt more confident about my own abilities as a result. I am doing the things I love once more - music, craft and writing - and I know that I wouldn't have re-discovered those things if I had jumped on that plane.
And here's the best bit:
In a crazy case of all things linking up, the other week, I posted about my visit to Cardiff, The Gwdihw and my obsession with owls here. A lovely lady called Claire who blogs over at Sweet Birdy Love commented on my post and we got chatting by email. She mentioned a bookshop she had once been in whilst visiting Melbourne, Australia, which she said was chock full of all things owly - some collected by the shop owners, some gifted to the shop by generous customers. Well, I thought, I know someone who lives in Melbourne at the moment: one of my best friends from school, Izz, who is blogging about her time in Oz here at Izz in Oz. So I sent Izz an email, told her about the bookshop, and asked very nicely that if she fancied a little adventure, would she like to find the bookshop for me and take some photos. Izz replied almost immediately:
"So as luck would have it, that's directly opposite my office so I will take a look at lunchtime...! Xx"
Wow! How incredible is that?! So if I'd never started the blog, I would never have "met" Claire and she would never have told me about the bookshop, and I would never have known that it is right opposite where Izz works. I love how things work out like that sometimes. But if I'd gone to Australia, I would have stayed with Izz for a bit, and maybe have found the bookshop myself?!
Anyway, as reward for reading all of that, here are the photos Izz took:
Thank you very much Izz! And this is what she said about the shop:
"So, the bookshop is amazing - it's in a very old (by Melbourne standards) building right on Collins St which is the classiest street in the CBD and, conveniently, directly opposite the front door of my office.
As I walked in the door I noticed a couple of owl figures in the window display, which I thought was a good start, but was nothing to prepare me for when I got inside! In the main room there were owl figurines and statues on many of the bookshelves, often holding the labels for the books, but in the back rooms the tops of the bookshelves were covered in figures, and even along the poster rails at the top... The photos of the back rooms haven't come out well at all, you can barely see the second row of ornaments at the top, but I took pictures of some of the cuter large ornaments that I saw.
Basically it's very hard to show in a picture, so you'll have to come here and see it for yourself ;-)
I have also found the website for the shop, so you can go and have a gander at that too: Kay Craddock, Antiquarian Bookseller.
The moral of today's little blog post? Do what makes you happy.
Too many days are wasted comparing ourselves to others and wishing to be something we aren't.
Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses, and it's only when you accept everything you are - and aren't - that you will truly succeed."
Much love, emmalemonade x x