2019 has been the hardest year that I have lived. I lost faith and felt hope slipping though my grasping fingers as I traversed the summer of 2018/2019. Have you ever felt hope fade from your sight? I thought I had but I was very much mistaken.

If I could describe how I felt it would be to say that hope used to burn brightly, like an inextinguishable flame, somewhere in my heart. Hope often felt bigger than me and It was my greatly loved companion in life. I could tap into it when I was frightened, alone, saddened or in need of comfort. This year, my fourty second year, hope waned in me. I questioned every single thing that I have ever believed to be true. I felt shattered and unmade, undone in a fundamental way.

By the end of the longest winter of my life I had decided that what I truly needed was to go home. Home for me is the Sunshine Coast in Queensland but it is more than that. It is the home of my childhood, my grandfather, my mother, my family – I needed them. I have been home since Saturday evening and I already feel better than I have in so many months. The first night back I slept like I haven’t done in years and years. I went to bed at 7:30 and woke nearly 10 hours later. That never happens to me.

I needed to come home. I love it here. I have clarity here to pick up the shattered pieces of me that feel as if they authentically belonged in my life and the courage to leave the rest where it fell. For the next month this is where I will be – laughing with family and friends, swimming in waterfalls and walking perfectly sun kissed beaches, drinking coffee, playing with my kids and allowing hope to grow big again.

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