Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Travels by Epiphany


So what do you do after a life-changing event?

Like most middle-aged career-orientated women, I expected my next life-changing event to be either menopause, retirement or worse yet, my favourite television series 'Supernatural' coming to an end. Being out of a job ranked somewhere between being hit by a car or discovering I had a shot dating Jason Statham. Never...going...to happen. 

Which of course it did, leaving me with this discombobulated expression.
Rick Baker couldn't create a face with such horror. 

Having no children, an ex-husband and two unruly cats, I'd forgotten how much of my life my job took up. The friends I considered my closest were my colleagues at work. The team I'd led had become my extended family. My resentment at being made obsolete by my company had little to do with the job itself and almost everything to do with the people I was losing from my life.

I'd miss Grace's giggle each time the name Hugh Jackman was mentioned or having to throw office products at Tim because his headphones meant he could never hear me when I asked him a question. I'd miss watching Dominique’s continuous war against the public transport system or listen to Peter and Richard dismantle the idiocy of Liberal Party politics.  No longer would I be able to rearrange the Lego men on George’s desk when he wasn’t looking or agree with Anthea we’d all work better if we had access to alcohol during work hours. I’d miss the water cooler chats with Nora and Janice, talking books with Vanessa and watching Michele’s confused expression each time she logged into our EMS system. 

The void was enormous, driving me into the arms of Netflix and its Australian cousin Stan. For days, I subsisted on a diet of Cherry Ripes and KFC, emerging long enough to replenish my Coca Cola supply. In the midst of binging on West Wing (Bradley Whitford is cool!), I  reached an epiphany moment. I decided to look at this voluntary redundancy (don't you just love how they call it voluntary) as an opportunity as opposed to end of life as I knew it.

Three things helped me reach this watershed moment. 

First, the online publisher I contacted about one of my books some time back, returned with a positive answer. Yes, they believed in the book which I will shamelessly plug here (Hunter’s Haven by Linda Thackeray) and would take up the challenge of marketing it. 

Secondly, I decided to rethink my career. I never really liked being a manager and it was my team keeping me in the job. I never thought I could make writing a career but if I was doing it as my passion pasttime, why not try to make it a career professionally? So I signed up for a nifty Writing and Editing course through OTEN that when completed, would allow me to pursue work as a copy writer or technical writer.

And thirdly, I decided I was going on a trip.

Not just a trip to the scenic town of Wagga Wagga or Young (where I swear Dracula runs an adult and comic book plus aquarium supplies store) but a real trip, to a different hemisphere.  

As a history buff, I always loved museums and historical monuments but let’s face it, Australia with its 200-year old past, is somewhat lacking in this department and Aboriginal history is too diverse and oral to be ever given justice in a museum.

No I wanted to see the places I’d read about growing up and this meant my trip was going to take me to Europe. I was going to see all the places I'd read about, the British Museum, Canterbury Cathedral, Bath and Glastonbury Tor (Mists of Avalon is my favourite book) and of course, no trip to Europe would be complete without stopping in Paris, right? 

So I shall be boring you dear reader, with a photographic journey through London, Edinburg and Paris from an Antipodean whose never seen snow.

Yeah, I know I have a shock coming.