Happy 1st Anniversary!

I’ve been trying to write a post for a few weeks now. I’d wanted to document the process of relocating. Acknowledge the reality, that I’d sobbed my heart out on the flight over and that my first 2 days on California soil were filled with intermittent, unprompted bouts of tears. I was in temporary housing in Foster City, in a lovely 2 bedroom luxury apartment bigger than any place I’d ever stayed before – yet I felt lost.

I was on the brink of another round of tears when my friend who was in Croatia called me unexpectedly. That conversation was like a switch. She assured me that I wasn’t crazy. That I hadn’t had anything permanent in my life for nearly a year. And here I was, making what was a fairly permanent move (semi-permanent to stop me freaking out), to a place I’d never really been before and all to undertake a new job. Leaving New York, everyone had told me that this move was an opportunity for me, and I agreed. But I needed those couple of days just to adjust to the lifestyle change that I’d craved but hadn’t processed until now. Incidentally, I haven’t cried since.

Yesterday I received an email that my blog subscription was up for renewal and that really got me thinking. It was a year ago that I handed in my resignation to embark on the unknown. The year has come full circle, and as I sit on the sofa in my apartment in Pacific Heights, San Francisco, I couldn’t be happier with how things have turned out. I feel (and sound) like a cliche, but I can honestly say that I’m happy every single day. I’m scared that things will come crashing down around me but I’m trying not to think about that. Maybe, just maybe, they won’t. Perhaps I’m finally where I’m supposed to be. For now at least!


The year has taught me a lot and in one of my earlier posts I mentioned that I knew I’d changed but wasn’t quite sure how. A couple months on, and I have a little clarity around those changes. Since I’ve blogged about the details of my trip, it’s only fair that I share those changes.

Confidence – I’ve realized that I’m actually quite confident. I guess that’s part and parcel of hostel life. Meeting new people everyday is something I became accustomed to and as such now, have no problem striking up conversation or showing up to events alone. It’s kind of a good thing considering I’ve just moved across the country to a city where I don’t know anyone. Someone recently called me extroverted, which will make anyone who knew the quiet and shy Helen laugh. But I do have self-confidence, and if this ever wavers then I have great friends who remind me that I’m capable.

Risky – For someone who’s professional background is Risk Management, it’s a little ironic that I’m leaning towards the riskier side in my personal life. ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’. A question I ask myself quite regularly. Whether it be undertaking adrenaline filled activities or just putting myself out there.

Despite this, I do still overthink. Something my friends take the brunt of. I’m working on being better at that, but in the meantime – thanks girls!

Body Image Issues – Like many people, I struggle with body image issues. But I’ve decided to give myself a break. I pushed my body constantly while I was away, and it never gave up on me. I was rattling around with my ‘just in case meds’ but never had to crack them open. My chunky calves which I moan about so much work, and they carried me up mountains, volcanoes and along trails. I owe my body a lot, and I shouldn’t be so hard on it for a few chubby days. Experiences and memories over calories any day!

About 2 years ago I went through a phase of screen shot-ing a bunch of inspirational and motivational ‘Word Porn’ quotes to my phone. I know, cliche. But I was willing to give anything ago. Thankfully those days are behind me, but I did read some wise words recently…

‘Sometimes it takes 10 years to get that one year that will change your life.’ Happy Anniversary Tales of a Passport. It’s been a blast!

One thought on “Happy 1st Anniversary!

  1. Love and miss you!!!!!!! You are so strong, independent, capable, fun, outgoing, supportive, entertaining…I remember the day you left and see where you are now – I am so proud and honored to call you my friend. I can’t wait to see where we go from here! Happy one year anniversary, sending alllllllll the virtual bear hugs 😀


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