During my first week at Irina's I completed twenty hours of solid writing towards my book. When I wasn't writing I was helping Irina take care of Rita and when we weren't taking care of Rita I enjoyed seeing the local side of Sydney with Irina.
In just a week we saw a drum circle, the New South Wales Art Museum, a sail boat race and lots of great live music. It was all very fun and yet it was all unraveling parts of me. The truth is, I was exhausted. I'd been exhausted for the past six weeks. The entire length of the East Coast trip had been a constant battle for me. Smile. Look, more mountains. Another beach. Say it's pretty.
So why wasn't I having fun anymore? Was I homesick? I missed my friends and family but that wasn't anything new. Here I was surrounded by the world's most beautiful beaches and I couldn't even enjoy it. I thought a four-day writer's festival would rejuvenate me but I was still tired. I slept at least ten hours every night but it wasn't my body that was tired. It was my spirit.
So I took about three days to write out my present emotions. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote until I realized I had come to the conclusion of my book; the conclusion of my trip itself. I was the main character. I had overcome my main conflict. Now it was time to go home and jump back in to my real life.
Australia was beautiful, like a dream. But that's just it, it was more fantasy than reality. I struggled to make ends meet, yes, but other than that I had no drama, no lasting relationships, no long-term residence, no town to call my own. Back home awaited a huge mess of career options, friendship struggles, family obligations and insurance bills. It was chaotic but at least it was real.
Finally, after seven and a half months, I was ready to tackle the life I'd been given. All of my demons had been battled and it was time to go home. BUT I STILL HAD TASMANIA AND PERTH TO SEE! There were two more stops on my list! I wanted to see them but I also knew I would not be impressed with either of them in my current state of exhaustion.
So I called Maggie, naturally and got her opinion on the whole ordeal. Her answer was perfectly clear: "Haley, if you aren't having fun then go home. There's nothing keeping you here." She was right, I needed to give myself permission to let go of the things I didn't need. Tasmania and Perth could wait for another time. I had a life to live.