Emergency Weather report:
February 1st-February 5th, 2021
Who am I, if I'm no longer Sydney-Cory?
This is the thought that came into my mind, late one night on a hard week of missing my former home.
These existential questions and residual bouts of nostalgia might be emblematic of something. Is it the five-month mark since departing from Sydney? Was it the uncharacteristically touching few words from my old housemate Rupert on our recent phone catch-up? Maybe these feelings have been amplified by the dermatology appointment I had this week (causing me to reminisce scarier moments of diagnosis Down Under), or my encroaching 32nd birthday.
It most definitely could have been the letter from AU immigration, which arrived in my inbox Monday morning. My visa has been cancelled - due to my lack of employment in Australia - and while months have gone by, it reminded me that the chapter on Oz is finally and officially closed. Closed forever? Not necessarily! But this symbol, in a time of limited travel and pandemic constraints, made me yearn for access to the door into Sydney simply because it's locked -- for now.
Over the past three years of living abroad, I spent a lot of time reflecting on what made me feel at home while living halfway around the world. That self-awareness is helping me now as I attempt to cultivate the life I wanted to create upon moving back to Cali. As an avid loyalist to my journal and nerdy goal-setter since childhood, I have determined eight areas that I want to cultivate in particular. I think they'll help me feel intentional, cozy, comfortable in my own skin, and supported along the way.
These are the versions of me I want to be.
As I "cultivate," I realize that I'm still Sister Cory, connector-Cory, yogi-Cory and so much more.
1. My wellness. My daily wellness rituals make me feel so much stronger. I'm grounded, self-aware and more relaxed going into my work day. I'm also more self-compassionate, a better sleeper, and more focused when I start the morning with a short breathing meditation followed by my living room yoga! Doing things like yoga or even home-cooking also give me quality time with ME to notice my thoughts and cuddle with Simba (see below).
2. My home! I have looked forward to this milestone of living on my own for a while now. It's finally here - I'm in my own apartment! With the help of my sisters, parents and bro-in-law, I am nearly set up for the coziest homey space of "hygge" ever. I can rest, exercise, lounge, or host. I can bake, blend, create and even sit outside! Finally, I have countless blankets, candles and essential oils that will help me quite literally infuse Sydney into my home.
3. My community - both old and new. I could not be more grateful to be minutes from the Welsh fam. Weekly dinner with the Brocks or routine backyard catchups have been the soul-fuel for my transition back home. While I am back in my home county and surrounded by friends from childhood and USC, it's been hard to reconnect with as many as I'd like during a pandemic. Luckily, I have Zoom trivia and Jackbox TV game nights lined up with my closest friends so I can stay in touch with them from around the world.
4. My creativity. Something I've been missing is the hobby of embracing my tactile, analog creativity! Especially after long days of virtual collaboration and screen-time, I long to leverage my creative juices in the evenings. I can do this by way of crafting or puzzling. I've even started sorting my Sydney prints for a scrapbook-gallery wall, and assembling a photo collage on my fridge was a simple pleasure. My friend Sue sent me a jewelry-making mandala kit - which fittingly fits into multiple goals like my wellness and this one!
5. My relationships... and maybe even romance. Beyond the community I know and love, I am open to meeting new people and want to invest time in dating. Little things like going outdoors for a (safe-distance) walk with a new coworker make the biggest difference and FUEL me while working from home.
6. My consciousness. This one is about being aware of those around me and intentional with my choices. Being back in America, I want to be politically engaged and environmentally conscious in the face of a climate emergency. I want to be mindful instead of reactive, and this starts with doing one thing at a time with greater ease and love. I'm reading the news, listening to podcasts, and talking with friends who make me smarter. I can't help but think of Jimminy Cricket on my shoulder, reminding me to let my conscience be my guide.
7. My service orientation. From helping someone with their LinkedIn profile to donating when I have the means to support a friend, I am living my purpose when I am giving back.
8. My professional development. Being in a new role during such a heavy period of change, I'm focused on purely honing the skills for my current role - coaching and consulting. I try to learn or read something new every day and reflect at the end of every week. I'm also scheduling mentor conversations twice a month to learn from those who lead teams [in- and outside LinkedIn].
I can do some writing, quick learning or email backlog on the balcony. Simba's not so sure.
Whatever it is that brings the rain, Sydney is etched deeply on my heart. Sometimes her imprints feel like scars - sensitive to the touch. Other times, they're beautiful and joyful tattoos of memories and friendships... not to mention the great scenery! It's melted onto my heart like a screen-print tee that I'll wear forever.
The silver lining about this month's weather report? You know what they say about rainbows - you can't spot them without a little rain.
Abroad in Cultivate-mode
Who am I?
I am a girl who loves my island and a girl who loves the sea; it calls me.