Living in the Moment, Reflecting on the Past

Living in the Moment, Reflecting on the Past

Written by Heather

Topics: Life in Oz

Everyone encouraged me to go with the flow on this journey, and believe me, I’ve been trying. Whether by choice or lack thereof, I’ve tried to shed some of the planner in me and adopt a more easy-going attitude and mindset. It’s a challenge to operate outside of our natural preferences, especially on a daily basis, and I have to trust that I’m growing from all of this adapting O:-)

The problem I face now is that I’ve tried to be so open that I’m absolutely confused by the options before me! Several people have invited me to join them in upcoming road trips. A new friend who knows I may look for work in Sydney invited me to move into his apartment when the second room becomes available in two weeks. And I find myself in the midst of a 3-round interview process earlier than I anticipated beginning the job search. Until I know whether I have a job offer or not, I can’t move forward with road trip commitments or apartment searches.

My mind is a swirl of thoughts, and last night it took a good hour to fall asleep with options and “what ifs” bouncing back and forth like ping pong balls. With being so preoccupied, I’ve found it impossible to write anything new of substance. My fingers itch to share events of the last two weeks, but once I power up the laptop, words escape me.

Now that I find myself in limbo and feeling at a sort of crossroads, I think it’s a good time to stop looking forward for a moment and instead reflect back on the year that got me here.

Written previously for my “old blog”, here’s a year-in-review for 2009.

In the 2008 review, I said I had a feeling 2009 would be a big one — and boy was I right.

1) It all started in London. I rang in the New Year from Croydon at Andi and Amy’s “New Years through the Ages” party. The trip marked my 4th time to London and my 2nd New Years with the gang :-)

At Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland

Ladies at the party
NYE party and friends

2) My youngest sister turned 21. Since we weren’t able to make it to Vegas, we brought Vegas to her.


3) I hosted a “breakfast for dinner” birthday party for myself O:-)

We're *so* ready for St. Patrick's Day

4) After watching a few UFC fights, I also attended some local MMA events. Yes, I like mixed marital arts.

5) We once again became a “party of five” when my middle sister moved back in with us.

6) I visited Nicole in Buffalo and went to Niagara Falls for the first time.

American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls

Maid of the Mist heading into Horseshoe Falls

7) Instead of taking a 3-week trip abroad, I used the rest of my vacation days to take 4-day weekends for 6 consecutive weeks. It was so nice to have that break, but it made coming to work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday very challenging! To be honest, I was actually ready to get back into a routine. Don’t think I’ll try that again :-)

8. Four of my colleagues resigned to take new positions elsewhere, bringing the grand total of people who have left the office since I started to 18.

9) I hosted a super fabulous “Freedom for the USA and Middle Earth” Lord of the Rings marathon party on the 4th of July.

My 4th of July "freedom for the USA and Middle Earth" LotR movie marathon party

Very tasty and healthy dinner

10) Another year of sun, sand, and seafood at the OBX for a week :-) I was in the middle of a training program for the Women’s 4 Miler, so jogging on concrete sidewalks with high humidity wasn’t fun, but it did help in the long run. And, we had some fantastic lightning storms.

11) Ever since my first trip abroad in 2003 to Ireland, I knew I would return for my 30th birthday. Last summer 12 friends and I began planning the trip :-) (which was in March 2010 and you can read about it here)

12) Toward the end of the summer I reconnected with someone I knew from my time at Virginia Tech. And we ended up dating for a couple of months. Yes, I dated someone (even though it was relatively short lived), thank you very much.

13) I hate running. But I like what it does to my body. So I trained — VERY SLOWLY — for the Women’s 4 Miler. People said there really wouldn’t be any hills on the course. They were lying. But I still finished in a very respectable time. And I went on to participate in the 4th Year 5k (for the first time!) a few months later.


Pre- race

14) In part due to the departure of the 4 folks at work, I received (and earned) a promotion! I celebrated by buying myself my first iPod (5th generation nano) and a Nikon D3000 (on Black Friday). I still love my (very) old Kodak EZShare, but I needed an upgrade.

15) Buying that camera led to running into an acquaintance I hadn’t seen in a long time. We started talking about cameras. Then we decided to get together and take some photos. And then we went to dinner, a basketball game, and a movie. And now we’re dating. (Yes! Me! Again with the dating!)
We dated until the day I left for this trip.

16) I enjoyed another year of acting at church — back in the summer at VBS and then as the narrator in the Christmas production. The lines came super easy to me this year. And I’m pleased that I can still remember my favorite line…”Not everything we hear at Christmas is festive. Not everything is bright and cheery. Because, let’s be honest. Just because it’s Christmas, it doesn’t mean that our fears have gone away. That our anxieties have diminished. Or that our loneliness has vanished. In fact, it may very well be the one time of year we need to hear from God the very most. The one time of year we secretly wish everything else would get quiet and He would speak.”

17) This is something that I can’t share openly yet, but last year was HUGE for me for a very, very big reason. And I’ll reveal that reason soon. If you’re reading this, I’m 100% positive you already know, but you never know who’s new that may stumble upon your blog :-)

Obviously #17 was that I had finally decided to make long-term travel a reality! For most of 2009, I researched possibilities and had to keep the secret within a small circle of family and friends.

Back to the present…

Within the next 24 hours, I will check out of the hostel and move on to destination unknown! Wish me luck and/or say a prayer — being spontaneous isn’t me! / CC BY 2.0

17 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. mom says:

    Your silly mom cried as I relived 2009 with you…Goodness, a lot DID happen in the year 09!

  2. My mom’s always the first to comment on my blog too! She’s my most enthusiastic cheerleader. A big hug to your mom.

    AND I just bought myself a dslr as well, It’s really fancy and I’m a little intimidated by it. Youtube tutorials help :)

    To many more exciting years, happy travels, longer marathons, dating stories and beautiful pictures to remember it all by. Cheers!


    • Heather says:

      Aww, thanks for the sweet comment :-) Just started following you on Twitter and plan to follow your journey.

  3. Darren says:

    Everything will fall into place on this trip,trust me ! It will all be like a jigsaw that looks impossible, then all of a sudden the picture reveals itself, and everything just clicks seamlessly into place!

  4. Erica says:

    I will send good thoughts your way. I know I’ll need you to do the same for us when our time comes. You can do it!

  5. Laura says:

    Heather, It sounds like you had a fab 2009. And you’re quite the party host- I love all the themes. Will you invite me to your next party? I want to come!

    • Heather says:

      You’d be invited in a heart beat! Hmm…maybe I’ll have an apartment warming party once I move in — and obviously I love birthdays so there has to be a big one in March!

  6. Annie says:

    I loved this post, for my as a new reader it’s so great to see what led up to your big decision!

    As for now, don’t worry (so easy right?) everything will fall into place and if you end up doing a job you don’t want or not getting a job, etc. you can always change your mind!

    Good luck!!!

  7. Nicole says:

    I’m so grateful we were able to spend both of our 30th birthdays together . . . oh wait – that was 2010, not 2009! Ha, ha – but still, I’m glad we were together. :)

    So excited for you as you continue your adventure in Oz! As for what to do next, the only advice I can offer is to just listen to what’s in your heart. :)

  8. Jade says:

    I totally understand how you feel and have been up many nights weighing the pros and cons of situations. I’m a planner too and it’s hard to let go and just let things happen. It is very exciting though- so I’ll send you sweet dreams/ prayers/ good karma and everything else I have! Good luck going with the flow!!

  9. Andi says:

    What an awesome year! I think you need to be content with the fact that no matter what choice you make, it’s the right one!

  10. Grayson says:

    I’ve been following your blog and Twitter feed off and on since you left Virginia, and it’s been great to see Australia through your eyes. You’ve had some ups and downs but overall you seem like you’re enjoying yourself!

    Good luck with the job hunt — I hope you get an offer so you can have a bit of stability. Being nomadic is fun and all, but it gets tough after a while, especially in a foreign country.

    I’ll be dropping you an email soon, but for now cheers from hot and humid Tokyo!

    • Heather says:

      So good to hear from you, G! If anyone knows about relocating to another country and establishing a life there, it’s you :-) Let’s catch up via email!

  11. Evan says:

    Had to catch up on the last two entries :) Glad things are going well and your spirits are still up πŸ˜€


  12. Ian [EagerExistence] says:

    Im the opposite. Being a planner isnt me. Its just so hard for me!! I like to procrastinate and choose an option at the last minute.

  13. Dad says:

    The grass didn’t grow a lot under your feet in 2009…and isn’t in 2010 either. I’m proud of you Heather, as I am all of my daughters. Make every day count. One doesn’t know when God will call them home. I love you.

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