A question that was asked for months before I left Australia, and continues to be asked here is - Why? Why would you pack up your awesome life and haul your ass to the other side of the world? On a surface level, I say that I'm a winter girl and I like snowboarding. The truth is, there are so many reasons why I moved to the other side of the world - and I'm only now starting to realise them.
There are a few moments I can pinpoint that have flipped my life around.
15 months ago I had my heart broken. The kind that breaks your whole body. The kind where you question your existence, and what you did wrong, and how if you could go back and change it, you would. I didn't sleep, I lost my appetite and I threw myself into some bad habits. Drinking, and kissing guys without bothering to ask their name became seemingly normal activities. I bought myself a pack of cigarettes and smoked till I felt sick (mind you that only took two).
Depression is something that has run in my family for a long time, and frankly something I tried to ignore so as not to be a burden on anyone, my first love included. I think if I'd dealt with it earlier, maybe things would've turned out differently. My heartbreak opened a can of worms that I could no longer ignore, and brought some matters to the table that I had to deal with.
So I wrote. I wrote so many letters that I burned. Countless songs that I would sing once and forget. I cried. God, I cried. I didn't know when the tears would stop. You see - grief comes in waves. At the start you feel like you're drowning, and suddenly there's a break and you can breathe. You don't know when the next wave will hit, but when it does it isn't as big as the first. Slowly but surely the waves become smaller, and the breaks get bigger. It doesn't mean that they won't come every once in a while, but at least you're no longer drowning.
Ultimately, my heartbreak propelled me to better myself. I threw myself into my work with all the energy I could muster. I finished songs that I'd left half written. I finished my makeup diploma. I moved to Perisher for the Australian winter and played gigs until my voice was hoarse and my fingers cracked and bled. And then, I recorded an album. I worked 16 hours a day - from makeup jobs, to gigs, to the studio to record with some incredibly talented people. I felt inspired to travel, so I booked a one way ticket to Canada.
My album launched on December 4th, and I flew out on the 10th. I finished packing at 4am the morning of my departure. My life was reduced to two suitcases and my guitar. It's a strange feeling to see how small your life can be. 2 hours later, one of my best friends Tayah came and picked me up and we started the drive to Sydney. I took in the landscape that I once thought of as dull and realised how much I love Australia. There was a moment where I was just watching Tayah drive, and I realised just how much I would miss my life. We had an incredible day, packed with amazing coffee from The Grounds of Alexandria, wandering through various random streets of quirky stalls, chasing waves on Bondi Beach and finishing off with the Sydney Fish Markets before a tearful farewell at the airport.
My housemates welcomed me at Vancouver airport with a big hug and we immediately started the drive back to Whistler. I got here and instantly was enchanted by the landscape. The sea to sky highway covered in snow is the most beautiful road I've been on in my life thus far. I felt as if I would never want to leave this fairytale, and I'd been Cinderella for all of about 24 hours.
The first few days I was drunk with jet lag, and time was no longer a concept in my brain. Dan and Lu were awesome in making sure that I was awake at the right times, and kept me busy with snowboarding and showing me around town. Where the locals eat and drink, how much to tip and how to avoid the tourons - or worse - being one, were all vital parts in my integration to the Whis life.
I found myself in an awesome little shop that sells fossils, jewellery and gems and somehow ended up with a job. I bought myself a pair of ice skates, in an attempt to fulfil a childhood dream of being able to figure skate. I walked around town on a mission to get myself a gig - and ended up with three. I did my first ever black run snowboarding, and then found out later that I had actually tackled a double black diamond and made it to live another day. I've been keeping myself busy with things that are pretty awesome, in attempts to look beyond my homesickness and enjoy all that is on offer here.
I won't lie and say that packing my bags and leaving has been easy, or that some days I don't look at prices on return flights back home, but for now this move is feeding my soul and helping me grow into the person I want to be -
and for now, that's all I can hope for.