I moved up to the Central Coast exactly one year ago today. It was a big decision back then given I didn’t know anyone on the coast and had only visited the coast twice before that. I remember the anxiety of leaving all that was familiar and having to embrace the unknown.
I won’t lie to you – it’s been an intense year. There have been so many ups and downs that I’m amazed I’m still future-focussed. Adjusting to a new workplace with different expectations was just the start. The team I’m in though, is awesome. There are other things however, that are not as awesome at work but I’ve managed to cope to a certain extent. I’ve acted up as team leader for three months, seen clients weekly, exchanged banter with my team and supervised other clinicians. I’ve realised in the past month, I am actually burnt out and will be taking a week off in November for a staycation.
Living on the coast has meant I struggle with the fear of redback and funnelweb spiders, of the possibility of snakes in the backyard and the knowledge that living near scrubland and bush is a fire hazard. But I’ve also enjoyed living in a quiet area while still pining for my unit in Sydney. I love the beach is a five minute drive away and there are other beaches not too far away either. There’s also the lake which offers breathtaking sunsets where I’ve enjoyed several walks. And of course, I’ve loved that traffic is manageable and not as bad as Sydney.
The best thing though, has been the connections I’ve made up this way. From the people at work to the wonderful girls in my book club, to the girls and guys I’ve met up this way hiking, I’ve been fortunate. Unlike my other workplaces in Sydney where I’ve only made two other good friends in eight years, here it’s a different feel. I catch up with a few colleagues outside of work and they have been hugely supportive when I’ve been struggling emotionally. Unlike my bookclub in Sydney, some of the members and I have formed a bond outside of it and have caught up for dinners or the theatre or hikes. With the hiking group here, I’ve gone indoor rock climbing and had games nights.
I’m grateful for all this. And to be honest, I factored all these lovely people in my pros and cons list a month ago when a position came up back in the Sutherland shire. I seriously contemplated applying as I’d been looking for a job there for years. But then I thought about it and wrote down the pros and cons and you know what? As much as I miss the shire as a place, I don’t have any connections there. Sure, I have connections in Sydney but being geographically far away even within Sydney, I know I got left out of a lot of social gatherings in the eighteen months prior to leaving.
While I still haven’t connected with the Central Coast as a place and would like a bit more culture and cafes, I have connected with several people.
For that, I am truly grateful. And it’s why I intend to stay on for a while.
Until next time,