I have a small fixed income (for which I am really grateful) but my rent is 90% of my income and the rent continues to go up every six months. I'm in one of the cheaper houses in the area and I can be evicted at any time, despite the one year lease I have.
My journey really drove home the fact that, financially, I'm poor. I came home to high rents, higher bills, food almost double the price it was in every place I stayed overseas - hell, in Paris I could eat well for less than 5 Euros a day. And here in Australia, the only way I can buy into a home of my own is to move so far away from anyone and any services that it negates the purpose (I'm talking 3-4 hours plus) and I'd still have a hefty mortgage - but no services. Or family. Or life.
And when I was told while over there, that in my situation, in most places in the UK I would have a safe rental in either council or government property (and not have to wait until beyond death to even get a place like here in Australia) I cried. In every place I stayed, within a hours drive, I could afford to buy a home of my own. Or be able to rent council property with a guarantee of NOT being evicted.
So I was disillusioned and saddened to a great degree for a short time. I wouldn't want to live overseas - I realised also when I was apart from my son and my friends that despite the incredibly obvious attractions of moving to countries that I could have a comfortable lifestyle living in, I simply couldn't leave my family behind. And I love my country, despite what these fucking moronic politicians keep trying to do to it.
So with this realisation, I have decided to try and think outside the box. Change my thoughts regarding being poor. I know that there are many thousands and millions who are worse than me, financially. But it's so funny, some of the happiest people I have ever met have been the poorest - because they have nothing left to lose, I guess (and family ). Still, being wired the way I am, I need some degree of security in my life and to that end, I am going to see how I can buy a house here and at least have that illusion for the last part of my life.
By the way, I don't see the word poor as being a 'bad word', nor do I believe being poor or thinking I am poor, attracts poverty. I disagree with that paradigm. Money comes to me when I need it. Which is why I will set my thinking to attracting the money I need to buy a house while still acknowledging that, by what I have recently witnessed, I am poor. (smiles) It's fine. I am so rich in so many other ways
It took me ten years to save for my trip and without the loving, gracious and generous support of all my wonderful hosts, I could never have done it. I'm so grateful, so thankful, so humbled by the amazing people in my life, all of whom make it so much richer
Therein lies the twist. Financially fucked yet overflowing with the richness of friendship, love and family. It's an interesting conundrum
Off to do some more processing - photos this time - it's easier LOL
I stood at that first airport and made myself get on that plane. I have lived with fear all my life and I was not going to let fear stop me this time. This trip was too important on too many levels for me to give in to the fear.
All the way there, all through my journey, I had to fight fear...
Do you know how I conquered the fear of flying? I still don't like it but...
I made the kids drop me at Tullamarine 2 hours before my flight was due to leave and I sat in the departure lounge for that 2 hours watching planes take off and land.
At the end, when none had crashed and burned, I realised that I had that expectation that my life would end in a fiery wreck... And so I let it go. Simply let it go. And learned that in doing so, I needed to trust the people whose daily job it was to get that plane in the air, keep it there and land it with us all safe and sound.
Thus began a month of lessons about letting go and trusting.
It was odd, because for the first time in my life I had NO expectations of what I would find or what would happen or of the people I would stay with. And so there were no disappointments. That was a lesson in itself. However, I had expectations of what would be waiting for me when I got home and of course, I was seriously disappointed LMAO
I had so many challenging frightening moments overseas. And yet none were things I couldn't handle, when it came down to the wire.
I learned just how strong I am.
I learned how to let go and trust that I would be safe, because I am. I know how to look after myself. But it took a journey half way round the earth to remind myself of my strength. And courage.
It took a journey half way round the planet to find and bring myself back home.
I haven't started painting yet, but I will. And it won't be about what I get from it or how I get it to pay, but rather it will be about me - all about me - and how I feel. And if it sells, that'll be great. And if I give it away, that'll be great too. Because my art is not about the money any more, as it was getting to be before I left to go find myself.
Because while learning my strength and courage, while learning how to let go and trust, I also found that nothing mattered unless I was happy in doing what I was doing. And only I had the power to create that happiness. And if that meant giving my art away, or giving a class for free - well, if that makes me happy, then that's all that matters. I have other sources of income that will cover for everything else that I don't mind charging for - like my Professional Writing and Editing services...
So it's time to simplify my life. Time to let go that which no longer serves me. Time to let go of whatever adds to the burden of unhappiness in my life (including my behaviours both past and present) and embrace that which brings happiness. I have the power to change my life. I have the power to be the change I wish to see. I have the choice to be happy...
It's all about the love, isn't it???
Much love and many blessings to you all on your journey...
Being poor - the cost of it all - covered
Letting go and trusting - covered
The importance of love - covered
Flyscreens (or the lack of lol) - covered
In my final year at high school (1977 if anyone really cares ) we studied a book called the Tyranny of Distance by Geoffrey Blainey. I recalled this book as I flew halfway round the world. I'd always known Australia is a HUGE country - bigger than most in the world (and that is no exaggeration or hubris) - but I never knew just how big the world is or how far away we are from EVERYTHING.
To hear people talk about going to France or wherever for the weekend was a shock. The airfares were a shock. The realisation that most countries I'd only ever dreamed about were only an hour or two's flight away was the ultimate culture shock. I can't comprehend that. You have to live in a land this vast and this uninhabited to be able to understand the shock I am still in.
You also have to understand that most of Australia is uninhabitable. Because we simply don't have enough water. That's a very hard thing for UK and European citizens to understand or comprehend, just like it's so hard for me to get my head around their short flights - even the USA is so close to them!
The tyranny of distance...
One of the richest, most beautiful (and now most expensive ) countries in the world is such a long, long way from the rest of the world - I finally understand that now. 24 hours on a plane at 40,000 feet is no picnic. To know that you have to do it again on the way home is quite offputting. We are so far from anywhere and anyone (except New Zealand LOL) that the way our country behaves - as though we are the leading edge in the world stage spotlight, is really quite embarrassing. Our politicians believe that we hold an important role and that we are 'up there' with the best. Bullshit. I don't think the rest of the world cares very much about a country that is so far off the beaten track that it takes 24 hours to get there... And is so uninhabitable that few people can live there.
I can see why the peoples of the world flocked to places like London and Paris. The heartbeats of the world. Who would come to Melbourne? Who even knew Australia existed 250 years ago? Our history is tied up with that of the land. The native tribes did not build in stone or wood. There is no history except what is written in the land. Or erased by time. Little is left in this great Southern land.
Yet still I love her. I love her vastness. Her jewelled seas. Her beauty and her terror. Her droughts and flooding rains. (Yes, I've paraphrased my fave poem lol)
There is no country (yet) that holds me like mine does. And while I have loved visiting other lands, seeing other places, experiencing other cultures, there really is no place like home.
Even though we are at the end of the Earth