Tuesday, December 21, 2010

So Then, The Light Went On.

More than once, I've got myself onto a balanced and nutritious eating plan. I can't count the times I've started a new fitness routine. And what about the many times I've started to study something new and interesting? Another language perhaps? All gone down the tubes after only a short time. Why? What was wrong with me? Oh yes, the interest was, and is, still there, so what is lacking? Discipline? Sort of. Commitment? In a way. Then, today, I got to thinking about something I did nine and a half years ago, and I KNEW.

In 2001, I was sharing a house in Tasmania with my son, but for some time I'd been the target (I refuse to be a victim) of a stalker. This character is a member of some sort of cult, although I never did find out for certain what it was, but it meant that he had plenty of help in keeping me under surveillance. Nothing could be proved, because he used others, even kids, to keep an eye on me. And I couldn't discuss it with anyone, because, the reason stalkers get away with the things they do, is that no-one believes the person being stalked, until the stalker does something drastic. You complain, and you are told you are imagining things.
Tasmania is our smallest State and it's hard to get away from a determined stalker. So I took action and decided to move InterState.

Although I knew that this man has connections in Queensland, this State is a whole lot bigger than Tassie, and was my only option anyway, because I had a friend there who offered me her spare room until I found a place of my own. My son did not want to leave Tasmania, so I was on my own in this. I had no money, so took out a personal loan to cover travel and get me the basics to start a new life. This meant cutting costs were I could, so I decided to leave all the furniture, including kitchen stuff, for my son to use. I left Tasmania on June 20th 2001, the day after my son's 40th birthday. I joked that I'd stayed long enough to help him celebrate his mid-life crisis, but it broke my heart to leave, because I didn't know when I'd see him again.

So, at the age of 67, I landed in Queensland with only three suitcases and a knitting machine, knowing only one person, and not sure I could adjust to the hot Queensland climate. But the day after I arrived, there was an ad in the paper for a house to rent, which was within my means, and I applied for it. I was approved, and signed the lease. Then I went looking for some second hand furniture. I didn't even have a teaspoon, so I needed a few bits of cutlery, things to cook with, something to sleep on, something to sit on, a wardrobe and some bed linen.

So after only six days in Queensland, I was in my own place, and for the first time in my life, living alone. The first six months were a nightmare. I had to watch every cent, I missed my son, and my only friend in Queensland was mad at me for moving out so quickly. I suspect she anticipated having company for a while and was disappointed.

Then I joined the local branch of Toastmasters International and started to get to know more people. Being with Toastmasters gave me more confidence and I learnt to love Public Speaking, giving speeches and enjoying doing the research for them.

Over the last nine and a half years, I've built my life here in Queensland, and have all the basic necessities I need, except for a car. I have only a Government pension, so cash is still tight. There's been times when I wondered what the hell I was doing here. Times when I wanted to go back to Tassie. Times when I wanted to see my son so badly that I wondered if I could swim Bass Strait. Times when I was hurting so much, that I didn't want to go on.

But there were also funny things happening which only came from setting up home from scratch, when you have been used to opening a kitchen drawer and finding what you want. Like when I wanted to open a can..... and discovered I didn't have a can opener! And when I cut my finger and there were no Band Aids! EVERYONE has a can opener. EVERYONE has Band Aids in the cupboard. These are everyday things that are JUST THERE. Well, not if you are setting up house with a few thousand things on your mind, getting used to a new State, knowing absolutely no-one, and each new noise is scary.

I'm settled in Queensland. I succeeded in making a huge life change at a late stage in life, and I did it alone. And there is only one reason it succeeded.

I burnt my boats. When I got the Personal Loan to move from Tasmania, I borrowed only $2000, enough for a one way air ticket, enough to pay the Bond and two weeks rent on a house, and a bit left to buy basic furniture to get me started. I deliberately made sure there was no money left to get me back to Tassie. I had to stay, and I had to succeed in making a life for myself in Queensland. I left myself no choice..........and that's what's been missing from my other attempts to do other things. I didn't apply this technique to my efforts to get fit, lose weight, learn a language etc, etc, so while I had an option, I had an *out*.

So now there's been an awakening! Am I strong enough to fully commit to a project? Time will tell. They do say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that is a great, motivating story. You are a strong, courageous woman!