So, roots and wings I hear you say? Is that even possible? I’m the first to admit that the idea of anything having roots and wings at the same time is the exact definition of an oxymoron. How can something that belongs in the ground and something that soars through the sky happily co-exist in one being?
But let’s keep in mind this is a metaphor. A pretty great one at that. The way I see it, if roots are the foundation on which you build your life, then wings are the elevator to the fifth, sixth, thirtieth floor. And who doesn’t want a life with a view?
I think it’s true what they say – you can have it all, just not at the same time. If you’re the rare exception who has managed to go to university, establish a career doing something you love, while travelling, owning shares or property, finding love and maintaining close relationships with family and friends, then well done you! You’re literally one in a million. I certainly don’t have it all, but I do have a lot.
A few years ago, I had quit my job as a junior lawyer and was travelling around Europe. After 8 months, it was time to come home [read: I ran out of money], but I was full of mixed emotions. I missed my family, but I loved travelling to new places. I wanted to maintain employability post-GFC and into the recession, but I wanted to do something I actually liked. I didn’t want to pay someone else’s mortgage, but I couldn’t afford my own and quite frankly the commitment terrified me. This was when I realised – I wanted metaphorical roots and wings at the same time. Two fundamental sides of human nature at war with each other.
But, do you know what I’ve realised? They don’t need to be.
Sometimes there is a gap between who we are and who we could be; between where we’ve come from and where we will go. The gap is the scary bit – uncertainty, vulnerability – but it’s also where the magic happens. My roots (like education, qualifications, family and home) have been both the diving board and the safety net that have enabled me to leap across (or, sometimes, directly into) that gap and grow wings (like travel, living abroad and interstate and indulging genuine interests). I’m grateful for my roots and I’m blessed to have wings.
Now, I’m a lawyer living in Melbourne and seeing where my interests in writing, change management and communication will take me. I dabble in clean eating and cooking, yoga and DIY (aka customising Ikea). And travel. Above all else, my extreme wanderlust takes me to new countries as often as my bank balance and boss will allow.
This blog is a place for me to own my story (thanks Brene Brown), share my favourite things and hopefully reassure someone (anyone, everyone – including myself!) that roots and wings are possible.
Thanks for following!