““Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ― Mary Oliver
4 years and 11 months ago I started the process to become an Australian Permanent Resident… at that point I had been living in Australia for almost 5 years. I had friends that had become my family. I loved Brisbane, I loved the weather and lifestyle. I had only been back to Canada once in that whole time. Australia felt like home…. My visa options had all run out and they were getting ready to evict me – I was staring down what at the time was the terrifying prospect of not being allowed to ever live there again. At the time, that seemed unimaginable. And so, I took advantage of an opportunity which many people are desperate for, and I applied for PR. The application itself took a year to prep. It involved so much paperwork, medical tests, english proficiency tests (no joke), character references, and following a specific career path…. and about $4500. When I finally submitted my application they told me
1. It would take at least three years before they started processing my application, and
2. I could either spend that whole time in Australia and not be allowed to leave, or, I had to get out of the country and not come back (I could visit, but not work). Unable to imagine not being able to travel or see my family for 3+ years, I opted for the latter.
When I moved back to Canada in 2010 it was with a heavy heart. I had grown in to an adult in Australia. I had created a life there. I was very sad to say good bye to my family of friends and a country I really loved.
Little did I know the incredible things that move would precipitate.
Yesterday, I finally received correspondence from Australian Immigration. They emailed to notify me that they expect my PR application to be allocated to a case officer at some point in the next 12 months.
I read the email and I had no idea how to respond. 4 years and 11 months and everything in my life has shifted. If I had known 5 years ago what I know now about my life, I don’t know that I would have applied… but, life doesn’t work that way. The process was necessary, as it always is. Being “forced” to leave Australia gave me the reason and the courage to make changes which I may not otherwise have done…
I quit a career which was considered “great”, but was totally unfulfilling.
I left a relationship which, though it was filled with many sweet moments and ended with sad hearts, was no longer a place either of us should be anymore.
I fell back in love with Canada, and rediscovered the amazing place the Sunshine Coast is.
In the end, leaving Australia inspired me to live outside of the box a little and for the first time in a very, very long time, do exactly what it was I wanted, rather than what I thought I “should” do.
It gave me the time and space to take a look at myself and begin to discover what I wanted and who I was. The world was (is) my oyster. And I made the most of it!
I traveled. I took yoga teacher training. I gave myself permission to not take life too seriously. I gave myself permission to follow my heart. I learned what I liked and what I didn’t like, and what kind of person I wanted to be (still working on it). I spent a lot of time by myself. I spent a lot of time in nature. I finally started to trust the universe. And, myself.
And what did that lead to? Blissful Yoga, of course. When I paused my life, and took the time to be still and listen, I tuned in to the fact that yoga made my heart sing. So I followed my heart. And, now I’m living my dream.
I really, truly like the person I’ve grown into. I’m surrounded by incredible people. I am enthralled with the beauty of the Coast. Overjoyed by the studio… Can I picture myself moving back to Australia, now? Honestly…. No. Visiting, YES. …. Moving away from there seemed like a very sad and difficult thing 4 years ago, but has truly ended up being one of the greatest gifts of my life.
So, what have I learned? Let go and roll with the flow. It’s amazing the time and money we invest in trying to predict our futures or create what we think we want. We do this on a smaller scale, everyday. Worrying and agonizing over all the details of our lives, and trying desperately to control things… when we could just let go a little, trust the universe and let it unfold.
5 years ago I could never, ever have predicted my life would be where it is, today……. It is absolutely amazing what is possible when you pause, tune in to your heart, and trust that everything will work out exactly as it should.
I am so grateful.