'Thank you,' I said with a smile, grabbing two flutes of freshly poured prosecco from the bartender. I turned around to a packed bar, where half of the customers were just next to tables where seats should be. Everyone was smiling, chatting and giggling; with a few even dipping in and out of the casino. It's just how I'd always imagined the Sydney hotel bar scene. I shimmed my way back to the table, careful not to spill the drinks on the way. I quickly took the stool next to my Mother again. 'Cheers to our once-in-a-lifetime Australia trip' she smiled at me whilst clinking my glass. 'Cheers,' I replied, beaming just as brightly.
The Sydney trip above happened several years ago now when I was twenty years old. It was a graduation gift from my parents, as it has always been a childhood dream of mine and my Mum's to swim with dolphins in Australia together. We didn't do it on that trip, as we got our geography wrong and booked to stay a forty-nine-hour drive away from Monkey Mia, where we were going to swim with the dolphins. But we did have great fun on that trip, climbing the Syndey Harbour Bridge, visiting the Sydney Opera House and seeing Kolas. I also remember how optimistic I felt about life on that trip, as I was on my dream holiday, about to graduate from university and the possibilities of the world seemed endless.
Several years after the magical Australia trip I was feeling lost and the trip began to feel like a long lost memory or a fever dream. I had just moved back in with my parents after living alone for quite some time, so was understandably feeling stuck. I didn't have a future planned to look forward to, and those endless possibilities of the world that I had dreamt of in Sydney had all disappeared. It was one of those moments where I didn't know if I should pray or have a bottle of vodka. Thankfully, I chose neither. Instead, I chose me. I promised myself I was going to do one small thing every day to get back to the place of optimism that I had in Sydney.
Revitalising yourself in your late twenties is a challenge as it seems so overwhelming trying to get back to the headspace of the carefree twenty-year-old sipping prosecco in Syndey. This is because you are at such a different place in your early twenties compared to your late twenties. Now I live alone and have a career and tons of responsibilities, whereas at twenty I lived at home and my biggest concern was getting a good degree. I lie, it was probably having a boyfriend (lame I know). The funny thing is you never realise the change, you just wake up one day and realise that you are sitting in blankets eating ice cream with what feels like the weight of the world on your shoulders trying to work out how to feel light, carefree and full of optimism again. This makes revitalising your life harder as you aren't trying to change your life but instead your perspectives.
To begin revitalising your perspectives on life you have to truly commit. I am not on about adopting a few new habits for a week or two, I mean committing to a mindset shift so you feel more in line with the twenty-year-old above. I personally chose to start with one small goal a day which was achieving ten thousand steps. My logic was if I could keep fulfilling this small promise to myself I could eventually fulfil bigger promises to myself. This in turn would make the possibilities of the world seem endless again as I could achieve anything I promised myself. A few months after completing one goal, I started to put in others. The more I held the promises the more the world opened up to me again. Then one day I made the ultimate promise: I would go back to Australia again.
'Table twenty-seven?' A waiter at the airport asked as he brought me over a pizza and Aperol spritz. I smiled and gestured for the food to be placed down. I was in the airport flying to Perth, Australia. This has become possible again as I had promised myself it would be. Just like that after months of hard work, the world was open to me again. I was so excited at what I could do next, and to tell you the truth I still am.