Former CREATE Young Consultant Angela sent us this amazing recount of living out her dream of moving to London. We are always so proud of the young people we work with and love to see them going on to do amazing things and achieve their own personal goals. It just goes to show, anything is possible when you set your mind to it – around Australia, there are children and young people with a care Snapping the Stigma every day!
How is it possible to dream so big when you are always told you can’t? When you’re told you’re not good enough and when the people who are genetically programmed to love you, can’t love you the way you are supposed to be loved? How are you supposed to rise above the negative voices, from those you know and from those you do not? It is not easy, it is incredibly hard to move up, and say no to everyone, and believe in yourself when no one else has a belief in you.
In May last year, I took the biggest leap of my life. It was after 10 years of talking about it, being told I would fail, believing I would fail, and not knowing any different. It was incredibly hard work to rise above it, shut it out, and start believing in myself. It was not just self-belief, it also took a good few years of saving, every week, sacrificing those moments of, “I want to go out with friends” because I needed to save for London. The right friends understood and were happy to come to me and see me at my house, or say “it’s my shout” – to those who did shout me and supported me THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart! It was working nonstop, living off toasted sandwiches and limiting money spending wherever possible, talking about it, and planning nonstop. I got an organisation to help me with my visa, accommodation and they even found my job for me, which took a lot of stress away. The most stressful thing was the late nights – and of course, trying to decide which country to go to first (joking!). It was a lot of fun researching all the things I could do, reading blogs and other peoples experiences, and what they wish they knew- what to pack and what not to pack, how many of my belongings to sell versus store (I sold 95% of my stuff).
I can’t begin to describe the dream, and how it felt to live it and waking up every day wanting to pinch myself because it felt like I was living in a fairy-tale. Stuff like this wasn’t supposed to happen to me in my life!
Living in London was incredible. I got to do some of the best things I have ever done in my life. I got to go to Harry Potter studios, when I woke up in the morning and was feeling like going out I could jump on the train and be in Paris in an hour or two – which I did once! I planned a trip over the Christmas break – I spent 16 days in 13 different cities in Europe, from the Eiffel tower in Paris to castles in Prague, the snowy mountains in Poland to gondola rides in Venice!
On Christmas eve I was in the snowy mountains in Poland, and Christmas day I woke up in Budapest. I spent New Year’s in Rome, watching the fireworks over the Colosseum and my birthday was spent in the Swiss Alps – what! It is still a pinch myself moment to know that I got to do something so incredible like that.
Living in another country when you don’t know anyone is extremely hard. I nearly gave up so many times. It was hard to push through the loneliness and the fear, but once you do there is a whole new level of freedom (different from turning 18). It grew me, changed me and gave me a confidence I didn’t know I could have in myself. It made me proud to be me, proud of the journey taken to get to the point where I can sit there and say “OMG I DID IT!”. I defied all the odds stacked against me, I lived my dream for over a year.
Once COVID started I decided to stay, so I stuck it out in London for a few more months. I felt incredibly lucky that I got to do it – yes I had to come home early, but I also got to come home when I was ready, and when I felt that the time was right, instead of straight away.
Would I do it again? ABSOLUTELY. My only regret is I didn’t do it sooner and spend the two full years over there, however the experience I had was incredible. I met some of the coolest people ever, and got to do something many people dream of. I had a choice, and I had to choose the one I could live with: stay home in my job and save more money and buy a house, or go out and do this one thing I always wanted to do. I didn’t want to sit there at 50 and say, “I wish I did this; I wish I did that”, and most people I told about it said they wished they had done something like this when they were younger.
Anything is possible when you have a little faith in yourself. You can live your wildest dreams.
Now I am home. I got a job, a car and looking forward to the next few years. I am so excited to see what life throws my way. I would love to travel more, but I also want to set some roots and enjoy my life, get reconnected with friends and family. I am incredibly proud of my journey to get to the point where all the terrible stuff that happened – it doesn’t run my life, it doesn’t affect me as much as it used to. I can be happy with where I’ve come from and how far I’ve come.