I haven’t been blogging much recently. Not just because I haven’t had the time to, but because there have been a lot of things going on behind the scenes of this little blog that I’ve been focusing my energy and efforts into.
Where to start?
Let me just start by saying, despite the ominous opening, this is HAPPY news, bloody brilliant, joyful, incredible news. For me, anyway.
I’ve been wanting to write this post for a long time, now, but it was only right that I waited until I had everything sorted, and had told all the ‘important’ people before plastering it over the internet. I’ve written it over and over in my head and wondered how it would actually develop once it came to putting fingertips to keyboard.
2015 has been an odd year for me. Anyone who knows me well knows how conflicted I’ve felt about this year; not only have I already made huge changes in 2015 (I left my job, I left York to move to Newcastle, I was unemployed for a long time), I’ve also felt completely stagnant, static. On the one hand, I’ve met some amazing people through moving to the North-East, and have had wonderful experiences. I wouldn’t change any of it. On the other hand, what I thought could be fixed by moving to Newcastle, wasn’t. Hasn’t been.
My job in York was great; well-paid, with prospects, with career development on the cards. But I hated it. I stuck it out for a year, but essentially it reached the point where it began to affect my health, both mentally and physically, which is when Chris and I sat down and devised a plan to make some changes in our life. In January we decided we’d move to Newcastle, in with his parents for a while until we both found jobs and could move into a flat, like we had in York. Only it hasn’t really been that easy, that simple. I thought the job market would be significantly better and more heavily saturated with the kind of jobs suited to me in the North-East. It’s been crazy difficult.
So the first half of this year was taken up with anticipating our move to Newcastle, counting down the days until I left my job, but also my beloved York. Leaving my most treasured place behind. But anticipating a fresh start, a better focus on a career I really wanted. I was so excited. Only, the latter half of this year has been spent with a feeling of complete ineptness, a feeling of stupidity for thinking things would be that easy. I was right back where I started this time last year. My depression was worse than ever, and after 100s of job applications and one particular interview that pushed me over the brink, I just gave up.
I know you’re probably thinking ‘omg Rhi, can you please get on with the big news’, but all of this is important, at least to me, in explaining how I’ve gotten to be where I am now.
Giving up on yourself is one of the worst feelings I have ever experienced. I pushed everyone away, I completely pushed aside every aspect of self-care – in fact, it would be fair to say I was on the road to ruination. That might sound dramatic, but I can’t explain it in any other way. I have always been an ambitious, driven, motivated person – and I started to just not care about myself in many ways.
I took some time out. I went back to Wales for almost a month to spend time with my family, and I made the decision to spend my 25th birthday alone, in a different country (I went back to Porto, where I’d taken my mam for her birthday just a few weeks before). I just needed some space to figure things out. Be me, by myself.
I realised I needed something to force my hand, something quite significant and life-changing to help myself this time. I realised I needed to make a leap, and do something that wasn’t ‘safe’, or comfortable. I couldn’t sit and wait around for something good to happen any more; I needed to make it happen. I did my research, talked to the brother of a good friend of mine, and now, it’s finalised. In February of 2016 I will be moving to Barcelona to teach English as a foreign language. For now, I’m not sure exactly how long I’ll stay there – indefinitely isn’t the word I’d use, but undetermined is. I’ll be doing a TEFL course and gaining a qualification, and afterwards, the Academy will help me to find work in the schools/colleges/businesses around Barcelona (if that’s what I want!). I can use the qualification preeeeettty much anywhere in the world – so I’m kind of seeing it as a passport. Travelling is my passion, and something I’ve always wanted to pursue in my adult life, and now I can – and am.
The plan is to essentially see how things go; how I like Catalan life, how I like life as a teacher, how it suits me in general, and then take it from there. I. Am. So. Excited.
Phew. That feels good to have written down. Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported me in making this decision. I love you all.