Posted by: seehowfarwevecome | July 11, 2016

Fleeting Moments & Changing Gears

A little over 18 months ago, Sonya and I set off from Heathrow Sydney bound for New Year. For me, a 3-week vacation around Australia followed and for Sonya, well a 3-month expedition across Asia and the Pacific would ensue. The Amazing Adventure I called that blog. We set off, ready for some. One Republic’s ‘I Lived’ became our anthem, along with ‘Love Alone Is Worth The Fight’.


Fleeting Fireworks – NYE 14/15, Sydney

It’s so odd, how fleeting moments and twisted paths can lead us down different roads. That trip nearly didn’t happen. I’d been due to spend Christmas and New Year in New Zealand. Sonya had a job she couldn’t get out of. Neither of us had planned to adventure together. Then as Winter approached and I cancelled my Christmas plans, things started to fall into place. Sonya finally got her redundancy she’d been waiting for, and a release date from work just before Christmas. “Let’s go somewhere!” we both said. “Let’s do it.”

It was the perfect recipe for us both. I was desperate to get away and find a 3-week period of respite, having completed a major acquisition in the prior 12-month period and not taken nearly enough holiday for my liking. Sonya, was keen to make a change. To shift gears in her life. To find fleeting moments and memories that could become her own. We both needed the break. The reflective space. The chance to restore, heal, learn and grow.


Changing gears…

A fateful invitation from a former supplier to spend New Year with him in Sydney sealed the deal. We found ourselves sat in Trailfinders. Sonya was planning a big adventure. She was going on from Australia to New Zealand, then to Asia. I just needed to book a flight to and from Australia, and to somehow restrain myself from quitting my job and going with her for the whole trip.

I sat on my hands with envy. Oh how it would have been easier to just quit London and take off with her. But I knew I had to work through it this time. That quitting wasn’t always the way to deal with reality. Plus I’d just committed to a new job with a six-month notice period. I was irritated at first. I’d been a footloose and fancy-free consultant for the prior two years, and in that moment when I wanted to take off, I’d locked myself in, albeit for a role I have adored and loved ever since.


22 Year Strong Friendships… Nothing Fleeting About That…

So I had to resist the urge to stay behind with Sonya when our 3-week adventure in Australia came to a close. I waved her goodbye at Brisbane Airport. I was choked, so genuinely so. That three-week journey was so very much needed. Yet most of all I was choked on behalf of Sonya, heading off on her own to seize the day and take life into her own hands. My friend for the past (then) 20 years was taking back control. She was taking a chance to make a change.

I recall being sat with Sonya, sailing the Whitsundays. My legs dangled from the boat, as we sailed. We sat like that for a couple of hours, talking, musing and recalling our youthful aspirations and the things that had, over the years, detracted us from our path. We sat steadily watching the ocean. I began to feel better again. The calmness of the seas restored something in me. The fleeting feeling of being out of control whilst diving the Great Barrier Reef made me feel more alive than I had felt in weeks. Sonya was inspired. She was ready to take on a New Day.


Fleeting Sunsets – Sailing the Whitsundays

When Sonya returned from that trip in April that year, you could see the change. She was restless now back in London. She had found something greater out on the ocean road. Little did we know then just how much she had found, and just how much it would change her life. For just as was said in the wedding speech this past weekend, only she, could travel to the other side of the world, to meet someone she would marry, only to find that he grew up a mile down the road from her in London.



We spoke about it upon her return. The guy from Perth. Soon he would come to London for a week or so. Then before we knew it, Sonya was packing a bag again, travelling back to Perth, for a 3-month period, or as long as her visa would allow. Life would never be the same again for her. That fateful Winter of 2014, where it all came together, where her redundancy timing and my desperate need to get away collided to form the basis for an adventure that shifted gears in a direction no one could have fathomed nor predicted.

By last Summer Sonya was engaged. By the end of Summer Sonya announced she would be emigrating. By the time she came back, planned a wedding and organised a move to the other wise of the world, it was suddenly July 2016. Just 18 months or so since that trip. A fleeting chance seized. Decisive action taken to change her life forever.


When you travel to the other side of the road, to find something that was down the road all along…

So last weekend was the wedding. An amazing culmination of a week of celebrations. Beautiful colours. Beautiful lives. More smiles on a bride and groom than I think I have ever seen. Bittersweet tears of joy and sadness. Joyful celebrations for the wedding, silent tears for the loss of a friend to many and family member to others. For me, 22 years of friendship moving to the other side of the world in the next week. Yet I am so intensely proud of Sonya and her ability to seize her day.

Throughout the wedding, people would come up to me. “You’re the one who went to Australia with her” and “you’re the one who suggested her sabbatical”. Yes, indeed I was but it was all Sonya’s plans, all her own making. Little encouragement had been needed, as I vicariously lived through her decision to take on the world and, it seems, to take on the immense challenge of opening her heart, of wearing it on her sleeve and risking hurt for the potential reward.


Spectacular, fleeting moments

Her reward has come through in leaps and bounds. Her reward for believing, for trying and for seeing, renders her now with this happy new start. With this happy consequence of our plans coming together, of their collision when gears shifted abruptly and forced us both to reverse, reset and drive forward again.

It seems only apt then that I again find myself driving forward. That I am exploring new roads, once again. That suddenly the world doesn’t seem so big and doors I might otherwise have shut for the sake of distance and logistics seem no longer quite as important. That perhaps everything is worth a chance. Perhaps everything is worth considering, or exploring. That life is full of surprise and maybe it’s exciting to surprise ourselves sometimes. Perhaps I should surprise myself now and again. Perhaps I should consider that less viable opportunities might indeed be viable. Perhaps head and heart don’t have to be quite so juxtaposed.


When head and heart are no longer juxtaposed…

So I’m giving myself this Summer, to surprise myself. To tread paths I wouldn’t usually tread. To wander opportunities I would usually dismiss. To distract myself and see where distraction might lead. I don’t know how fleeting yet my Summer might be. I don’t know yet if Autumn shall find me smiling at my Summer, or whether my life might have shifted a gear or two, but I am certain it’s going to be fun. I am certain that fleeting moments this Summer shall be memorable. That doing new things shall be the nature of my July and August.

My July is proving interesting. My packed days and nights are a diary challenge, but my stories, my opportunities, are alive. I am seizing my day. I am doing new things. This week I am giving blood. Next week I head to Ibiza. The end of the month sees another wedding and a Race for Life. It’s going to be a spectacular Summer. Fun awaits. Opportunities are there to be explored. Moments, however fleeting, shall be cherished, as I find the right gear.


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