We became engaged and it was decided that I would move to Melbourne, we would buy a house, have the wedding and then move in together once married.
"Three years ago I did something that I never imagined I would. I packed my bags, hopped on a plane and moved to a new state.
Two years prior I met a wonderful man during a short trip to Melbourne. He was a Melbourne boy born and bred and I was from the south-western suburbs of Sydney.
After a year of long distance dating, countless trips back and forth and many phone calls, we decided that we wanted to spend our lives together.
My parents are from Armenia and came to Australia over 30 years ago. My partner comes from an Armenian background as well. I grew up in a safe and loving home environment and there were rules and regulations to follow. It is customary in our culture for children to live at home with their parents until they are married. My dad has always been a hardworking and quiet man who made sure I had everything and never went without. He would not have been happy for me to live with a man as an unmarried woman.
So, we became engaged and it was decided that I would move to Melbourne, we would buy a house, have the wedding and then move in together once married. I had spent a lot of time in Melbourne over the years and had always loved it.
Leaving my family and friends was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. Growing up I never liked change and was a nervous person; moving to a new state was daunting for me physically, mentally and emotionally. I’d been taught that whatever I do in life, do it with an open heart and mind. This was going to test me, but I wanted to do it for the love of my life, and for myself. I wanted this to work and I felt that I was strong enough to do it.
I felt isolated, as though I didn’t belong and would have moments of anxiety where I would ask myself “have I done the right thing?”
Being a positive, sensible person I looked on the bright side. I was excited to start a new life. I was in love and happier than I had ever been, and believed I would be happy wherever I was so long as we were together.
Time flew by. By the time I had a chance to digest everything it was time to move out from my family home I had lived in for the last 28 years of my life. I went through a barrage of mixed emotions. I was worried about living in a new city and how I would cope, sadness for leaving my loved ones behind, melancholy for the impending sadness I was sure to experience, and excitement for the new start of my life with my future husband all rolled into one.
I moved to Melbourne one week before the wedding. The wedding itself was a wonderful day. After that, the initial months were a struggle. They were the most arduous times I’ve experienced in my life. I didn’t have a job and was in the midst of applying and waiting for interviews to arise. I had a lot of free time, mostly whilst my husband was at work. I would spend my days missing my friends and family, homesick to the point of tears.
I felt isolated, as though I didn’t belong and would have moments of anxiety where I would ask myself “have I done the right thing?” I didn’t regret my actions, I loved my husband immensely and believed in my heart that this was the right thing for me. But I was sad and not coping with the transition. Whilst I am very close with all my family, I am especially close with my mother. Going from living with her, seeing her every day, to not having her with me was incredibly hard. I’d left a job that I absolutely loved, and suddenly no longer went out with my girlfriends on the weekends, and wasn’t invited to all the social events on the calendar. I craved the frequent social interaction I’d always known. I desperately missed all the familiar places and faces. With nothing to do I worried, would I find friends like those I had left, or would I lose touch with my former life in Sydney altogether? I was finding it hard to make any friends in my age group, let alone good solid friendships like those I had developed since childhood. No matter how wonderful this new adventure may be, nothing had prepared me for leaving every person that has ever loved me and been there for me.
I determined the only way to find myself again was to be positive, appreciative and accepting of what I had done.
Finally, after three months I found a job in my field of expertise at a medical clinic, however it wasn’t a good fit. Thankfully, a few months later a different position turned up at another hospital which I stepped into, and loved. I still work there today.
Whilst things were going better with work, I still struggled to adjust to my new life. I went into a period of such anxiety and feeling of separation that I was at a loss. I couldn’t adapt, and I didn’t know who I was. I was distracted with missing people, and had trouble concentrating due to the anxiety I was feeling. I had to do something about this. I had to turn myself around.
I determined the only way to find myself again was to be positive, appreciative and accepting of what I had done. I had to remind myself why I had made this life change; I had found my soul mate. We made each other so happy, and together could create a life that I had always wanted. I knew I could grow stronger from this experience; that I had it in me to thrive. Sydney is only a 1.5 hour plane trip away (one we have made often in over the last 3 years) and I thought about how grateful I am to live in a world where technology is so far advanced I can stay closely connected with my family despite being in different cities. My husband was extremely supportive, as were his family close by and mine from afar.
This experience, through its challenges, forced me to grow, and made me a much more independent person. I believe with conviction now that I can achieve anything I set out to achieve. Sure enough, with time I developed a few good friendships, and I have developed a wonderful network of support from my husband’s friends and family. Today I am happy. It is still a new journey, but I am proud of myself, and continue to feel gratitude to have found the love of my life, and continue to have a strong connection with my family.