Life After Sydney: What I Learnt, Growing Up and a Thank You to Jaden Social
As I packed my suitcase the night I was leaving for Sydney, I thought to myself, "What the hell am I doing?!" I was leaving little Perth, the most isolated city in the world, to move completely on my own to a city I had never been to. I would be doing an unpaid social media internship for three months at the digital marketing agency, Jaden Social. It would be my first time living out of home and being unpaid, it meant that I had to live off my savings and the little government money I received. It was a crazy idea, but the craziest ideas always end up being the best ones.
When I had been offered the internship, it was easy to make the decision to just get up and leave. After travelling to Japan, Indonesia and Europe last year, as well as suffering in a bad relationship and then from the subsequent breakup, there was nothing more I needed in my life than change. I was sick of Perth, its lack of opportunity, my dead end retail job and I just needed to escape from the same old shit that everyone does. I wanted something different in my life. After my little trip to Melbourne with my friends, I was back on a plane two weeks later moving to Sydney.
I feel like Sydney made me into a different person. I was motivated, energised and even though my internship was only three days a week, I always found something to do when I wasn't working. I caught up with a primary school friend who I hadn't seen in thirteen years (she moved over a couple of years ago) and when I asked her whether there was really nothing in Perth, she said there really was nothing. I thought that maybe Sydney just offered more excitement as it was new, but I think that there's a certain joy about living in Sydney (or perhaps any big city) that just can't be experienced in Perth. It was strange that something as simple as wandering around the city brought me such happiness and at times, I'd catch myself feeling so blessed and so grateful that I had been given this opportunity. It was a feeling that I've never felt living in Perth and it's not to say that I think living here is hell, but if I can live in cities where I have better job opportunities and simply just experience more in life, then I'm going to do that.
I was alone in Sydney, but I was never lonely. Although I came to Sydney by myself, I got to catch up with old friends I hadn't seen in a long time, meet my blogging friends and even make new ones. When I was by myself, which was a lot of the time, I was just as happy too. I think it's so important to enjoy being in your own company and just as healthy as having a social life. I learnt how to be independent and not have anyone to rely on but myself. I did my own cooking and washing, and I took far better care of myself than I ever had back home. I ate healthier (mostly because I'd get too impatient to cook sometimes, so I just ate salad or sushi) and I started exercising regularly. I went to Sydney to prove to myself that if I really wanted to get out of Perth and move over east, I could do it. I did this for myself and no one else, but when you have your dad and your best friend telling you that they're proud of you, and your little brother saying he looks up to you, well, that's a pretty damn awesome feeling.
It felt really great waking up in the mornings not dreading going to work (mornings still really suck though) and although I was working for free, you know you're headed in the right direction of your career when you enjoy so much what you do, you'd happily do it for nothing. With a predominantly music based clientele, it was so much fun working with a bunch of music junkies who live and breathe music, and even though we all had our different tastes, we all shared a mutual understanding of how much joy it brings into our lives. If it's even possible, I think I love music even more now and it was incredible being able to give back to an industry that is such a huge part of who I am. The Jaden Social gang are some of the most hard working, dedicated and passionate people, and to be in a workplace where everyone loves their job was hugely uplifting and motivating. It encourages me to still go out there and chase my dreams, and not to settle for anything less than what I really want. We're all looking for something more to life than your boring average 9-5. None of us are doing it for the money, but to simply love what we do in life. If you're not sleeping, you spend most of your life working, so you may as well enjoy it.
I've been home less than a month and I miss Sydney terribly. I miss double decker trains, spending too much money in Topshop, coming over the Harbour Bridge on the bus, the beautiful weather that had me thinking, "Is this really winter?", being independent and the cruisey 10:30am starts at Jaden Social. It feels like I've been home longer, but I guess I'm just used to everything here. It was really hard coming home as I felt like I was taking a step backwards in my life, but in order to leave Perth permanently, I knew it was the right decision. When I read the quote, "Optimist - someone who figures that a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it's more like a cha-cha", it made me look at my situation in a better perspective. Although I'm back home with my parents and working in retail again, I'm in a far better place in my life. I'm grateful that I was able to come home to my old job and I'm saving money to set myself up for moving out of home, so that hopefully in a few months time, I'll land myself a full time job in Melbourne. As much as I absolutely adore Sydney, I just always figured I'd move to Melbourne at some point in my life. There's something about Melbourne that I've always gravitated towards and because of that, I need to at least try. If it doesn't work out and I end up not adapting to the rainy weather, then I'll definitely go back to Sydney. All I know is that Perth is not an option. As lovely it's been coming home to familiar faces, I crave the excitement of the new and the unknown.
I did a hell of a lot of growing up during my three months in Sydney and it provided an incredible learning experience for me. I've dreamed of leaving Perth for so long and it taught me and gave me the confidence to know that I can do it. To be able to get up and leave your hometown and knowing you can do it all on your own is such a rewarding feeling. My time at Jaden Social hasn't ended as I am continuing working for them on the Asian reality TV show, The Apartment, and I'm having such a blast. Between my retail job with Christmas coming up and Jaden Social, things are going to be full on, but I'm going to try my hardest to keep up with blogging and finding time for myself. It feels really good to be productive, to keep busy and continue working towards my future.
When I think about the person who I was this time last year, I feel as if they were two different people. I'm still a pretty quiet and introverted person, but the difference is that now I don't let that hold me back as I have confidence and I believe in myself. I had no direction in my life and there were things I wanted so much for myself, but was too scared to try and too scared of failure. My self-esteem had been crushed in a relationship and the only person who could rebuild it was myself. I've done that and now how many people can say that their first foray into their dream job has been working on a freaking TV show? I can. Another thing I learnt is to be endlessly present. We all need goals to achieve for our futures, but never forget to enjoy life right at this very moment. Of course, I still worry about finding a job, moving away, boys, money, etc, but I never stop forgetting how lucky I am for the opportunities I've been given and for what I've already achieved.
If there's something you've always wanted to do, just go do it because you'll only come to regret the risks you don't take. I'm not exactly where I want to be just yet, but I'm not where I used to be either. It's not easy figuring out what the hell you want to do with your life - it took me a good few years - but now that I finally know and I'm not letting fear hold me back anymore, I'm going to go get it. I'll forever be eternally grateful to Jaden Social for the once in a lifetime experience and whatever happens in the future, it all started with this amazing company I've been so lucky to be a part of.
Apologies for the lengthy post.
It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realise what’s changed is you. - F. Scott Fitzgerald