Four years ago, I walked in through the doors of a new job as but a slither of the woman I am now. I walked in bereft of much joy, unable to celebrate the fact that I now had my dream job, the very goal that had sent me to the other side of the world to collect. I looked up at the white sails of the Sydney Opera House and I felt as cavernous as the building itself.
The journey has been so much more than a long haul flight and crashing with friends and relatives. The lessons have been so much more profound than filling in visa forms and job applications. I thought I would relish the freedom of carving myself into any identity I fancied. I thought I could throw of the shackles of diminutive behaviour from the past and suddenly erupt into a sense of my own greatness. I thought crossing the borders would allow me to fly over my limiting beliefs to embrace new physical, mental and emotional horizons. Instead, the road has seemed far more haphazard, unrefined and diversionary than I ever expected. Until on Sydney shores, I never appreciated how far away home would seem, and how foreign it seemed to consider myself as home for my spirit as well.
Over the last four years, as I have learnt the depths and breadth of soul that makes the sails gleam and the precinct buzz, I too have found the same in me. Picking myself up from the dramas and the conflicts that announced my welcome onto Antipodean lands from the northern hemisphere, I now feel an affinity to the building that triumphed when some doubted all the way to the grand opening of its doors. I’m not iconic and I’m not famous, but I recognise the passion which resides within and am grateful that I can feel the start of those fires within me once more.
For the last few years I have worked with people fueled by passion and imagination. They have understood the magnetism of a building which has held strong to its purpose and they work each day to amplify and extend that inspiring reach as far as possible. I, in my own little way, have been a part of that. And all the while, each of my days have played out through crisis and confrontation, cheeriness and calm, to bring me reminders of what my purpose is and how to shine that back out into the world.
I have been reminded of how much I love creativity, spontaneity and service in my life. I have been reminded how traditional and principled I can be and how I love expansiveness. I have returned to a sense of femininity and an understanding of how important polarity is to create and connect. And I am slowly unlearning how to put myself in a corner.
I owe the bright sails of the House more than it will ever know. It has taught me what home is, that I carry it everywhere and that, when I am home, all people I meet can be family.
Next week, I will walk out the doors, more of a woman than I ever thought to aspire to and with so much more to learn. But I exit joyful, grateful and stronger. I achieved a goal and then some more, adding purpose to all that I have experienced. And although I leave, I leave so much richer. I look at the white sails of the Sydney Opera House and I am proud and excited for what the next set of doors shall bring.