One year. It's been one whole year. One whole year since the moment we sat on that plane. Excitement in the air. Smile on our face. Destination - Magical, fascinating, breathtaking. New Zealand. :) Time to reflect!
It was a one-way ticket. Literally, no way back. Our decision was made. Our life packed. Hand in hand, we set off. To the place where we left a piece of us some years ago. That has been calling us back ever since...
We set off to follow our dreams. We knew it was not going to be easy. We knew that challenges will await. We knew we will have to start from scratch. We knew we will start alone. We knew that we will be far, far away. From home. From everywhere. From everyone. Yet we set off to follow our hearts. To follow that little voice deep inside...
To live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. By the beach.
And with all that, to make a very conscious change in our lives. To put ourselves and our family first.
And now one year has passed... Was it worth?
Was it worth plunging into the big unknown and following our dreams? What has this year given us? I have been spending the last couple of weeks reflecting on this past year. Together, with my husband, with our baby. And alone.
Looking back. Writing lists. Contemplating. Good and bad. Pure and raw. Face to face. Trying to savour and digest every defining moment along this journey. That changed us. That changed me. Forever. No way back.
Many many pages in my diary. Numbers. Facts. Even more feelings, emotions. Settling down slowly in me... And the power of putting down my thoughts on a piece of paper...
So here are some of the highlights that have inspired me this year:
The beauty of traveling and beauty on the way. It’s been definitely a year of traveling. Countless hikes. And countless photo moments. Moments that inspired me. Moments that I got lost in. Moments that were about us, as a family. And moments that were about me. Me behind my camera, feeling lost in the moment. Slowing down. Enjoying pure beauty around.
The power of nature. Seeing it. Smelling it. Feeling it. Touching it. Hearing it. After living in a concrete jungle of a big city, this was like a breathe of fresh air. The proximity and access to nature was not only good for my body, but it had an amazing effect on my soul. It made me more aware. It made me reconnect. It doubled my good mood and helped me through the bad mood. The sound and smell of the ocean, that I can watch it and walk by the shore. Every single day. Life changer.
And the +1 power of nature - giving me a lot of food for thought...
Reflection. Probably the most inspiring. We actually wrote a whole list while looking back. What we are happy, grateful and proud about after this year. And challenges. That made us grow. Many are connected to New Zealand. Many are connected to parenthood. Many are connected to both. Some are personal milestones, some are professional, others hit on a social, rational and/or emotional level. Several points on the list with the most interesting, most rewarding, most incredible, most magical and also the spookiest, strangest or scariest experiences of my life. That now define me. That I would probably never have done if we had not made this move to NZ. That I would probably never have experienced in such an intense way if I had not become a mother. Both quite a big journey, just on their own...
It was good to look back. Actually fascinating. To write my kind of yearly report. Reflection. Big time. It made me own my stories even more. To know what counts. To know who counts. To know what gives me joy. To know what gives me pain. To see how I grow. To see what made me grow. I'll write it again next year.
But probably the biggest thing I got out of this year is how powerful it is to connect. Reconnect. With others. And first and foremost, with myself.
It's been the toughest, hardest year of my life. With terribly challenging moments. Many downs, and for long times not even the slightest sign of ups on the wide horizon. Digging myself deep down in a hole. Looking for a hidden treasure. Seeing everything in black. Hardly any trace of even a small, dim sunshine, hardly any trace of the so wanted. Probably filled up an entire ocean with tears. Existing in a survival mode. So alien from me... I felt like I lost myself on the way. As if big part of me died... So many times. Over and over again...
I was sad and devastated. I felt lost and alone. I often felt like a total failure. Nothing made anymore sense as it used to before. I was carrying a heavy mask, and that once seemed to be naturally part of me, felt like a massive burden on my soul. I didn't want it anymore.
As if I had to burn myself to ashes. But in order to truly rise, to first be brave and fall. To realise. Finally and hell lots of things. (And how much more to come?) That there is nowhere to go. It's time to face myself. It's time to get deep down in that hole. Be brave. Look inside. Face everything. My wounds. My pain. My fears. My rage. My frustrations. And my worth.
Yes, my worth. To find my worth. That I am good enough. For myself. Where enough is perfectly enough. Where there is no need to prove over and over again. Where there is no need to compare, because it doesn't really matter. Where there is no need for external reassurance. Where there is no need to live up to expectations. Where I can just be. The way I am. Without a mask. Without a heavy armour to fight the battles of life every day.
That I can trust myself. My body. My instincts. My feelings. I just have to be brave enough to listen. And be brave enough to open my eyes and see. To see how I am mirrored. My feelings. My mood. My memories. In my child. In my partner. In the people that life brings along my way. For whatever reason, at whatever stage, usually not without a reason. Where? It doesn't really matter. It will give me a tool to understand. Myself and the world. To make it a better place. Hell it’s hard!
This year has been the toughest year of my life. Yet also the most inspiring, most rewarding, most eye-opening ever. This is the full picture. Up and down. Good and bad. Opposites. Hand in hand. One not possible to define without the other.
So, was it still worth, I ask myself?? Yes! And I would do it over and over again.
My mindset changed. My way of thinking and looking at things changed. Everything changed. I changed. This year gave me a totally new perspective. The good and the bad. Both.
A whole new journey. And some new dreams.
"There are often times when the path to our backyard seems to be full of stones and bumps. When the grass seems so much greener next door, at our neighbour’s...
Evolution from home. I see it happening. And if you read this till here, so do you :) Follow your heart! :)
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