Time to say goodbye to Blighty…

It’s totes emotional at Heathrow. (I’ve already cried twice 🙈). Here I am with my fellow team leaders at Heathrow. Thank you for all your messages, love and well wishes 💓. I’ll be posting as often as possible on my Cambodian adventure so sign up for the email. #feelthefearanddoitanyway #newadventure #vso #Cambodia

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Trying to lean into loss & change

In the next 10 days three key things in my life will happen:

1. I will launch my book ‘All The Things I Learnt From You’ on the 22nd March.

2. I will attend a training weekend for my my up coming role in Cambodia with VSO .

3. I will move back to my mother’s house and back into my teenage room which my mother is generously giving me.

It seems that loss comes in more than one way, as does large change. By moving out I have been given £1000s of fees to pay. Only yesterday BT told me I would need to pay £358 to be released from my contract because I did not tell them by last Friday. The week before that the estate agent told me that I would need to pay £725 in re-letting fees to move out. This not including the rent I have paid on an empty bedroom for two months. Nor the bills or money spent on the basics a home needs like knives and forks! I need to raise £650 for my Cambodia placement or there is the risk I cant go. So I need to spend money on my events, money I dont really have to make sure this dream happens. Money is flowing out of my bank account, leaving me feeling unstable and insecure.

I passionately wanted for change to come. I wanted a new flat, a new boyfriend and a new job. I wanted to replace each important thing I lost in 2017. For 2018 to be better than 2017. In some respects it is.

I got a new job but it’s not right, so now is a good time to move on. I have got some great organisations on my CV that I have worked with and learnt new skills. I am just about to interview for a summer job which will give me some financial stability and new skills if I get it.

I got a new flat but being unable to financially support living here solo, it’s time to leave here as well. I have learnt how to make a empty flat a home and have at times been more comfortable living alone. Moving to a new place made me feel I truly had a new beginning and more able to leave the past behind.

As for love. Well dating will have to wait. For now. The love of my life is out there somewhere. I hope!

I wanted change and I am getting it. Sometimes I feel I am adrift, that every time I try to settle, the sand shifts. It’s not a nice feeling. So in 10 days time, things will have changed again. And I am hoping that I can lean into this change and not be broken further by it.

If you want to support me, donate on my just giving page or send me a message.

Definitely an author now!!!!

Well my lovely friends, its finally here. 😀

You can buy a paperback copy of my debut collection ‘All The Things I Learnt From You’ on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2HK1fOL

This is the dream I didn’t even realise that I had.

For once, when I saw all those notifications of people getting married and having babies, I didn’t care.  I have achieved something important to me.

I really want to see you at the book launch celebration on the 22nd March. Donate here and get a ticket now!

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It’s beautiful, isn’t it?

This is the final design of my paperback book cover. You would be surprised at how much effort and time it takes to take an idea and make it a reality!

After a few set backs, the artwork for the paperback has been finalised. So I am now waiting patiently for the powers that be at Amazon to decide when you beautiful people can buy it on Amazon.

How to make a difficult decision (Update on VSO)

This evening I got a call I didn’t expect to get for at least another month.

The placement rep at VSO called to discuss my options. He explained that there were two placements I was suitable for, one in May and one in June. He thought it would be better to go for the one in June in order to give me more time to prepare. I asked how long did I have to make a decision. ‘By tomorrow’ he said. ‘By the end of the day?’ I asked. ‘No, by tomorrow morning, 11am the latest’. Okay then. I asked for the details of the placements to be able to make an informed decision.

The placement in June is in Kenya. A country that I have visited and loved. I have friends there. I have briefly volunteered there. I know a bit of the culture and have a smattering of Swahili (wapi cho means ‘where is the toilet’). Kenya is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited.

But.

The placement in May is in Cambodia, a country I have never visited and if I am honest, I did not expect to be given as a placement as there is a higher ratio of placements in Africa. If I had been told that I was going to Cambodia, I suspect I would have been surprised but excited. Being given a choice of placement; and a very short time frame to make the decision made me nervous but I said ‘send me to Cambodia, I have visited Kenya before’. He said he would send me some information for me to make my informed decision. Then I started fretting.

I looked online at the VSO Banan community in Cambodia but couldn’t get Kenya out of my head. I am going through a stressful time at the moment, trying to move house and self publish my book both within the next 7 days. Let that sink in.

Now is not necessarily a good time to be making big decisions, but it had to be done.

I went home and sat down with pen and paper. I used a coaching exercise called ‘PIN’. You ask yourself what is positive, interesting and negative about your choice. I did this for Kenya and Cambodia. I had a lot more positives for going to Kenya. But, I really pushed myself, teasing out all of the positive, interesting and negative elements of each choice. A big negative for me was that I don’t know anything about Cambodia. I had to go back to basics and write out all of the reasons why I wanted to do VSO in the first place. There were 9 reasons, including adding to my CV; gaining International development experience etc etc. But a third of the reasons for me wanting to do VSO was to challenge myself; to not play small and to push my comfort zone. I have also finished a personal development course which encouraged me to do things where I felt wonder about myself and my achievements- hence the self publishing a book.

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It’s going to be me holding some fruit or a small child in Cambodia in 3 short months

As I went through all my reasons, I realised that I would achieve several of them in either country. However, in terms of challenging myself; feeling wonder at my achievement and not playing small, Cambodia was the answer. I had to wrangle with myself some more. Why do this, you may ask? Why not take the option that is more familiar? If I am honest, part of me doesn’t know, except part of me wants to do what’s best for me. I know that because I am hugely scared of the unknown, in this case Cambodia, that the pay off will be greater. This is not an easy decision to make, and I am gritting my teeth even as I write this. But in terms of proving to myself that I am brave; building on my volunteering in a new continent ( I have volunteered several time in Africa before) and it being a good financial time to go, Cambodia is it.

So May 2018 will see me embarking on a new adventure. I am scared but I am always a bit scared. I comfort myself by saying it will only be 4 months and who knows, I may grow to love Cambodia as much as I love Kenya. If I don’t, well at least I know.

Thanks for reading and comment below!