Last year I did a speech for a group of year 12 students. I spoke about how we are all telling stories. I spoke about how little of life we actually remember.
It’s amazing how much that speech has come back to me in the past 12 months. Yes, I was giving a speech with the aim to challenge and hopefully inspire some students. But without realizing it, I gave a speech that formed a philosophy of how I want to approach my life. It made me accountable. I could not possibly live a dull life because what if people found out? I would be a liar.
So I set about continuing to tell a good story, one that would be worth reading.
I realized at the end of 2010 that I wanted to travel. That I would be unsatisfied and disappointed if I went another 12 months without leaving Australia’s shores. I also wanted to do something that I believed mattered. I had come to uni and my faith and my beliefs had been turned on their head, so I wanted to help people, I wanted to believe that these things still mattered.
So I went.
I left Australia’s shores and I started to explore. I worked for a non-profit who are doing things that I believe matter.
In 2011 I read more than 30 books. 2011 was a rediscovering of the power of story. I met people who taught me to never feel ashamed of what kinds of stories I love, people who reminded me that Harry Potter is a great story and anyone who says otherwise is probably just a pretentious twat.
I changed in 2011. I didn’t realize it at the time; but I changed. And it wasn’t “where” I went that changed me. It was simply that fact that I went. That I left. That I got up and walked out the door. I changed because I took myself out of routine, out of habit, and this allowed me to look at myself from another perspective.
So I have learnt that from time to time it is important to leave. Important if only so that when you return you are able to see that place differently.