As I packed each item into my suitcase, I thought about the past year and how my life has turned around. In went my socks and I reminisced about the steps I have taken, both literal and metaphorical, towards realising my dreams. How I arrived in Cornwall just over a year ago, a tired shadow of my former self, due to events that no longer matter. In that year I walked forwards and believed I could create a life that sets my heart and soul on fire. In that year I learned how to believe in me as I walked with my head held high to the sunshine, to believe in who I am and to dream. In went my scuba diving equipment and, as I felt the flex of my fins, I was reminded of how I have pushed myself hard to overcome my fears. I never imagined I could become a scuba diver, I cried my way through my first diving course. Now I am on my way to becoming a professional instructor. Yes I still have my fears but they don’t own me. They join me on the journey and teach me compassion and empathy with others.
In went my five t-shirts and oh how I laughed…I realised each one has a picture of a shark on it. I was reminded of how privileged I am to be going to work with my beloved sharks. I have dreamed of this moment since I was a little girl aged four taking a shark book to ‘show and tell’ at school.
Hat went in next. ‘Hat’ is a wonderful creation of wool and fleece and he has kept my head warm across the world for the past eleven years. I am reminded of the laughter and love that Hat has brought into my life. On more than one occasion he has been loaned to people in need of warming up and started friendships and conversations I treasure. I am reminded of the love I confessed as I looked up with Hat on my head. Who knew that moment was on the way, that I would be so lucky as to find, feel and express something so beautiful.
My Ipod, my laptop, my journal and my creativity are all tucked deep into my bag. Last year I didn’t even know I had a voice to share. I hadn’t the courage to write a blog, to sing for others or to consider painting or playing the piano as things I could do. I look back over the year and smile as I see I have found and expressed myself within each one. Through the artist inside me I have discovered my voice. I have set myself free.
I gently placed my small collection of crystals; my rhodochrosite, my quartz and fluorite in their place. I added my two miniature woolly Airedales and other personal treasures. These are my reminders of the goodbyes I have said, the tough times and the reasons of why I am doing this. How through my own losses I will burn more brightly, I will set the sky on fire with my passion and I will give it my all to make a difference to other peoples’ lives.
As I zipped my case closed, I stepped back. I took a deep breath and I dusted off my wings. I flexed them ready for flight. As I looked at my world, condensed into a suitcase, I realised that none of this would have been possible were it not for the people that have believed in me, inspired and supported me, shown me what I am capable of. There is so much goodness in this world that we don’t appreciate or even notice. Do you realise the difference each of you makes through your words, your kind gestures and actions? It is through a thousand small actions of yours that I am here today, ready to fly free. It is thanks to you that I can step forwards and smile. Thank you. This is for you.