Sometimes living the life I lead, I come across small situations that cause me to get anxious; make me want to leave; remind me of how much I miss the comforts of home and family. It’s so easy for people to say “Your parents must be so proud”, “You’re so brave”, which I guess in some respects are both true, but the majority of the people who hear about my story say,
“but you’re so young”
This small quote reacts with me different ways every time I get it pushed into my ears. For starters, people who say this to me, when has age ever been a restriction? (Obviously apart from all those law restricted purchases). Have you heard about the 77-year-old Supergran who runs 100km ultra-marathons for the pleasure of it? Laura Dekker? She became the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe single-handed, at the age of 16 (Not to mention, a kiwi, you go girl), and let’s not forget about the people like my Grandmother, who moved across the world, via boat not plane, at younger ages than I, in the war times, alone. People get so wound up in ages that they forget to even ask why they’re doing what they’re doing. Yes people ask me about my travels, but the majority of the people are so quick to judging me on my age, or where I’m living; as if a zone puts a stamp on my success.
My second response to this quote is for me to want to pull into myself and not speak to anyone at all. This might seem ridiculous, attention-seeking, or pathetic to a lot of people, but for me it’s the only way that I can regain my thoughts. You don’t realise how hard it is to be away from people, until you actually are. I’ve been in London for just over 5 months, and it’s just about this time that I have fallen comfortable into a routine; of work and no play; I’m beginning to miss my oldest of best-friends at home, and in waves of gut-wrenching sadness I miss my family; hugs from Mum and Dad, but more importantly I do sometimes begin to lose sight of why I’m really here. Losing sight is what makes you want to just give up and go home.
Last night, I had a very similar break down. It was not exactly because of being named young, it was more a build up of small remarks, tones, and attitudes from the past week. I had had enough, and walking home staring up at the full, glowing moon above the London horizon of brick, I had a sudden urge. A sudden longing to leave London, go back to New Zealand, lay all over my parents on the couch like I used to, and just feel truly at home again. I posted a photo to my instagram (@paigebolland) and my Dad, being the superhero that he is, swooped in to save the day. My Dad, and of course my Mama Bear as well, has always known what to say and when to say it. Now I know my moving here was hard for them, but they always said things that cut the doubts out of my mind, and re-convinced me that what I was doing was incredible; a once in a lifetime opportunity, and that I had to do it. So last night, when I felt like giving up, Dad saw the photo with the venting quote underneath, and messaged me.
“Understand kiwi girl, keep your chin up”
Small, but enough to make me smile just like that.
“Harder than it should be sometimes, but it is the big picture the focus is on”
This, being in the state I was in, I replied to questioning what the actual big picture was anymore. To which he responded,
He made me remember than I’m here for my own adventures, and that sometimes to get there you do have to put up with people who are jealous; have smaller dreams; less motivation; people who will do anything to hold you back. Yes living here is hands down THE hardest thing I have ever had to do, but it is also the craziest, most beautiful, difficult adventure.
This is MY life, and if you step in my way, I’ll build a ten mile high tower above that so called “big person” you think you are and sky dive off the roof miles past you.
– Thanks Dad x